ALMOST 30K complaints have been made to Hampshire County Council about potholes and damaged roads.

The figures are based on a freedom of information request by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

They show that the county received over 29,610 queries or complaints about potholes and road surfaces over the last year.

In all, 31,946 complaints were made across Southampton City Council, the Isle of Wight Council, Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council areas.

The total spend on repairs in the south-central region was £83,826,389 and the total number of complaints was 87,907.

Out of 3,998 claims, only 808 were successful with £245,356 compensation being paid out.

The report has revealed that nationwide local authorities receive a road complaint every 46-seconds.

The FSB is now calling for more funding for local authorities from central government.

Similarly, it wants better coordination between utility companies and these authorities.

FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry said: “Potholes are a major concern for the nation’s small businesses. Our members rely heavily on the road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on fast and efficient road networks. Poorly looked-after roads not only hamper their ability to do business but lead to damaged vehicles.

FSB offers members business services such as advice, financial expertise and support.

Executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, Cllr Rob Humby said: “Local authorities are facing budget pressures and rising demands, it is imperative a share of national funding is allocated for roads maintained by councils. With motoring taxes now raising some £34 billion annually, it is not unreasonable for road users to expect to see more of this money re-invested in maintenance. The government provides 43 times more per mile for Highways England roads, which make up just 3% of the country’s road network than they give councils to look after the other 97% of the network.

“Hampshire County Council is committed to providing well-maintained roads, and adds £10million per annum from local funds to support road maintenance, but the chronic underfunding of local road maintenance by successive national governments has left local councils with little choice other than presiding over a managed decline of the road network."

A spokesperson from Southampton City Council said: "An increase in funding from central government, directly targeted at highway maintenance, would be welcomed. Settlements we currently receive from the Department for Transport, supported by local funding to a level that can afford, are merely able to stabilise a long term decline in highway conditions within the City. Compromises in the scale of road reconstruction therefore have to be made, meaning that road users will see return visits for repairs in future years, earlier than SCC would ideally wish for."