BURY Council has paid out nearly £3 million in compensation for damages as a result of poor road conditions since 2011, it has been revealed.

The council has forked out £2,841,222 following claims arising from the poor state of roads and pavements within the borough.

In the current 2013/14 financial year, the council has so far paid out £1,040,787, while £830,451 was paid in 2012/13 and £969,984 in 2011/12.

Cllr Donal O’Hanlon, speaking at the last full council meeting, said: “If we would have invested £3 million in roads I don’t know what the situation would be.”

Cllr Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for environment, said: “Maybe if we had spent that amount of money on our roads and highways it might have been different, but we have lost at least £3 million from this government.

"We are working hard to combat this and we have got new technology and street inspectors, and we are doing everything we can to deliver a more efficient service for taxpayers.”

In addition, it was revealed that the council footed more than £200,000 in legal costs as a result of defending or contesting claims.

In the 2011/12 financial year the council paid £155,840 in legal costs, which fell to £31,269 in 2012/13, and is currently £20,212 in the current 2013/14 financial year.

The council says that claims handling was previously dealt with by an external insurance company, but was brought in-house by the organisation in April 2011.

It says that created two jobs, which delivers an annual saving of around £90,000 when compared to fees charged by external insurers.