Councils around the UK are paying out millions of pounds in compensation for injuries caused by potholes in roads. Figures recently released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 20 councils have paid out £1 million in compensation over two years. In Lincolnshire and Yorkshire alone, cases potentially worth £9 million, some involving serious injuries, are pending.
The AA Motoring Trust claims that roads are now in a worse state than they were in the 1970s. A BBC survey in 2005 revealed that about half of all local authorities had spent less than their budget allocation for road repairs in the previous year.
In one recent case a cyclist had his right ear severed in a fall caused by a pothole. At first, he only claimed the £250 repair costs for his bike, which the council refused to pay. After taking legal advice, he claimed for his injury, in addition to the cost of the repair, and was awarded £6,000.
Another problem with roads, which came to light during a BBC investigation, is the lack of resistance of some road surfaces to skidding. Many councils have reported that the surface they are using – stone mastic asphalt – can be slippery when it is dry as well as when the weather is wet, especially just after it has first been laid down.
If you have been injured as a result of a poorly maintained road, contact us now for advice.