Northern Ireland

£30m spent on road claims in Northern Ireland over five years

From potholes to personal injury payouts, the Department for Infrastructure spent £8.2m in 2023/24, up from £4.9m five years ago.

Political parties are being urged to prioritise potholes in their manifesto commitments
Nearly £30m has been spent on payouts for personal injury and vehicle damage in Northern Ireland over the last five years. (Yui Mok/PA)

Nearly £30M has been spent on road claims in Northern Ireland over the past five years, new figures show.

Between 2019/20 and 2023/24, a total of £29.6m was paid by the Department for Infrastructure on compensation for personal injury claims, vehicle damage and other expenses.

The cost has also jumped considerably in the last two years, from a figure of £4.9m in 2019/20 to £8.1m (2022/23) and £8.2m (2023/24).

Over twice as many claims were submitted in the last year (5,689) compared to 2,702 in 2019/20.

Most claims in 2023/24 were for vehicle damage (4,921), but personal injury claims alone (666) accounted for the mast majority of the expense.

For 2023/24, personal injury claim compensation and “other costs” resulted in a price tag of £7.1m, up from £4.3m five years earlier.

Vehicle damage compensation and other costs in the last year totalled £987,000, a jump from £478,000 in 2019/20, while property damage costs in the same time period increased from £71,000 to £84,000.

By area, the Department’s Belfast South section incurred the highest cost last year at £1.7m, compared to £559,000 in 2019/20.

Belfast North was the second most expensive at £1.3m, around £300,000 more than five years ago.

The lowest overall expense for road claims was in the Fermanagh & Omagh (East) section at £118,000, an increase of £14,000 in five years.

The pothole capital of Northern Ireland was the Ards and North Down area, where 530 claims were concluded for 2023/24, nearly twice as many as in 2019/20 (234).

By contrast, Mid Ulster (South) had the lowest amount of pothole claims concluded at 84.

The Department for Infrastructure has been contacted for a response about the increased costs.