SEVEN people report potholes on Bolton’s roads each day — but damage claims are falling.

That is according to new data published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which takes an interest in the state of the borough’s roads due to the impact on traders travelling for work.

The latest available figures show Bolton Council received 2,624 reports of potholes in the 12 months up to the end of March 2015, compared with 2,025 reports in the previous 12 months.

In 2014/15, 135 people made legal claims to the council for compensation after alleging their vehicles had been damaged by potholes.

Sixty nine were successful and they received a total of £17,539.

In 2013/14, 159 motorists made claims and 123 were successful and were awarded a total of £37,910.

The council said the rise in reports is down to more people being aware of the reporting procedure, and a greater number of residents getting in touch via social media.

An FSB spokesman said the figures, which cover Bolton and nine other Greater Manchester, suggest road conditions have improved in most areas.

Its Greater Manchester regional chairman Simon Edmondson said: “Our members rely heavily on the local road networks to do business, relying on fast and efficient networks. Poorly maintained roads impede that.

“Councils are making some headway in maintaining our region’s road network to an acceptable standard, but there’s still room for improvement.”

The figures show Bolton Council spent £893,216.00 on road repairs in the 12 months up to the end of March 2015, compared with £1.8 million in Trafford, though Bolton Council spent £8 million on such repairs in the previous 12 months, the figures show.

Mr Edmondson added: “There is something of a postcode lottery from borough to borough around the kind of standards you can expect to find.

“The hope is that devolution in Greater Manchester next year will mean councils will be able to invest more in maintaining highways, and it will hopefully mean a more consistent approach to funding to address the real problem areas.”

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We invest millions of pounds yearly in the upkeep of our roads, from pothole repairs to more extensive road resurfacing.

“Every pothole that is reported to us is inspected and necessary repairs are carried out. Repairs are undertaken within 24 hours or up to 30 working days, depending on the severity of the damage. Residents can report potholes online or via email”