Highways compensation could cost council more than £300k

PUBLISHED: 13:30 16 June 2014

Archant

COMPENSATION for motorists and pedestrians who sustained injuries or damage to their vehicles on North Somerset’s roads last year could cost the council more than £300,000.

Highways claims figures, uncovered by leader of the district’s Liberal Democrat party Mike Bell, show a total of 457 legal demands for cash payouts for injury or damage were made in 2013/14, which could cost North Somerset Council £326,000.

Of these claims 63 were settled, costing £12,000, 185 were refuted and 209 outstanding.

These claims, which include highway defects – both pavements and carriageways – as well 
as personal injury and property damage, bring the total paid out over the past six years to £1.75million.

Cllr Bell said: “These figures will come as no surprise to many local residents.

“Anybody who walks or drives around North Somerset will know how bad many of our roads and pavements are.

“Over many years, the council has simply failed to carry out effective repairs or to have a programme of maintenance that prevents the decline of the network into a poor state.

“It is frustrating to see our council tax being spent on insurance premiums and compensation instead of on better roads and pavements.”

The costs for settled and outstanding claims mentioned above include both the cost to the council and its insurers.

The number of claims made has also dropped from 549 in 2012/13 to 457 in 2013/14.

Then, 140 requests were settled totalling £121,000.

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