Pothole pay out

ALMOST 100 legal claims have been filed against North Somerset Council due to potholes, shoddy pavements and the poor state of roads in the area.

ALMOST 100 legal claims have been filed against North Somerset Council due to potholes, shoddy pavements and the poor state of roads in the area.

The unitary authority has been forced to pay £3,200 to settle one dispute, which could have paid for 62 potholes to be filled in.

Of the 93 claims made in 2007, unearthed by a Freedom of Information Act request, 66 are still outstanding.

Highways incidents are dealt with by an outside company on behalf of the council's insurers, which charges £231 per claim.


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Winscombe resident Gareth Jones, now retired, is in the process of suing the council following an accident last year.

He says he fell into a pothole and sustained an injury to his knee, and grit embedded itself in his leg and head.

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Mr Jones, of Oak Road, said: "The pot hole in Sandford Road car park was about a foot across and ankle-deep.

"I decided to do something about it so my action might save people from similar experiences in the future."

The council's executive member for strategic planning, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said: "We put in an extra £500,000 last year and this year into the budget over and above previous levels as part of our effort to improve the roads throughout North Somerset but it is not easy.

"There are 3,000 roads and we can only repair 100 per year, give or take, depending on how much each road costs.

"We do not really want to go on filling in potholes, we want to do the work properly."

According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which collects information from local authorities regarding road maintenance, it costs on average around £56 to repair a pothole.

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