The pothole situation is “out of control” and householders are frustrated that money can be found for “glitzy highways projects” whilst roads remain underfunded, councillors have warned.

The county and city councillors concern about the pothole situation in Oxfordshire comes after it was revealed that Oxfordshire County Council paid out £778,671 to road users who said they or their property was damaged by potholes and other problems in the road.

It was also revealed defects in Oxfordshire’s roads meant that it had received 6,026 claims for compensation since 2017/18 until the end of July this year and it paid out on 2,044 of those (34 per cent).

Oxford Mail: Potholes in OxfordPotholes in Oxford (Image: Oxford Mail)

Liam Walker, Conservative county councillor and shadow cabinet member for highways, said he was “impressed” that “thousands of people had managed to navigate the complex process of making a pothole claim”.

He said: “In the current climate with household budgets being so tight I feel for those who are having to pay for costs incurred due to the pothole not being repaired”.

Oxford Mail: County councillor Liam WalkerCounty councillor Liam Walker (Image: Liam Walker)

Mr Walker called for the county council to “focus on getting the basics right” as opposed to spending “£8 million speed limits to 20mph which could have fixed about 145,000 potholes, making them a lot safer”.

Labour and city council cabinet member for housing Linda Smith said the issue of potholes not being fixed was of “particular concern” for cyclists who “faced the risk of injury when roads aren’t maintained well”.

Oxford Mail: City councillor Linda SmithCity councillor Linda Smith (Image: Oxford Mail)

She said: “Residents are particularly frustrated that it appears money can be found for more glitzy highways projects but the basics seem underfunded.”

Ms Smith said the problem of poor quality road surfacing and potholes regularly came up in conversations when she spoke to constituents in Lye Valley in Oxford.

She said: “I understand that resources are limited and budgets have many competing priorities but many residents in Lye Valley believe heavily used roads in the city need more investment in maintenance than they currently receive.”

A cyclist in Jericho, who wished to remain anonymous, said the “potholes were getting worse” and this has made cycling “really dangerous”.

She said: “Hitting any of the potholes carries the risk of falling into traffic.

“I keep hearing how the council and cycling interest groups lambast car drivers, but they never acknowledge how potholes are a danger to life for cyclists.”

A Freedom of Information request from Oxfordshire Independent also showed that the success of claimants is falling, as in 2022/2023 28 per cent of claims were successful and in 2018/2019 this was far higher with 44 per cent being successful.

A council spokesperson revealed the criteria for claims remained the same and there was “no particular reason” for this fall.

The council’s target for making a decision is three months from when the claim was first submitted, although not all are made and settled in the same financial year.

A county council spokesman said: "The county council monitors trends linked to road conditions and reports of potholes on a daily basis and deploys resource accordingly. We are working very hard to repair roads and tackle highway defects."