ALMOST £200,000 of Bury taxpayers’ cash has been paid out to motorists whose vehicles were damaged by bin lorries in the past five years.

Bury Council has revealed that since April 2008, refuse wagons emptying bins across the borough have collided with or bumped into cars 120 times, causing damage.

Owners of the damaged vehicles have then taken legal action against the local authority, which has paid a total of £196,042 in compensation — an average of £1,633 per incident.

The Bury Times and Radcliffe Times obtained the figures from town hall bosses after making a Freedom of Information request.

In 2008/09, the council paid a total of £47,844 compensation for 34 crashes.

In 2009/10, it paid £38,434 for 22 crashes and in 2010/11 £46,387 for 28 crashes. In 2011/12, it paid £25,145 for 18 crashes and in 2012/13 it paid £38,232 for 18 crashes.

The cash paid for property damage, injury, hire charges, solicitor fees, medical fees and expert fees.

Bury Conservatives leader Cllr Iain Gartside said: “I think these figures are interesting and should be looked at. Recently, residents in Tottington complained about the damage bin lorries have caused to the road, and I do see how the damage lorries can cause is an issue.

“It is something that should be discussed by councillors, perhaps at a future scrutiny committee meeting.”

A Bury Council spokesman said: “We now use fewer agency drivers than we did and have trained additional pool drivers of our own, which has helped to reduce the number of accidents.

“Also, we have investigated reported accidents in more depth in recent years and, in some cases, this has resulted in it being shown that it was not a council vehicle involved and the claim against the council was consequently dropped.”