Council forks out almost £6k to people injured on pavements

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 September 2018

The loose and uneven pavement where John Holland tripped. 

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The loose and uneven pavement where John Holland tripped. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

North Somerset Council has spent almost £6,000 compensating people who were injured after falling on dodgy pavements across the district.

The authority confirmed 39 individual claims have been made over a 12-month period ending on May 31 for ‘damage or injury sustained by pedestrians encountering pavement hazards’ such as poor surfaces, loose paving slabs, potholes or damaged kerbs.

However, the percentage of claims which were successful came to just 7.69 per cent.

Despite the low rate, the total value of compensation claims paid by the authority for such injuries amounted to £5,819.50.

The Precinct, in Portishead’s High Street, has previously been criticised by the public and Portishead Town Council for its hazardous condition.

Changes to the look and feel of the area began in March and it is hoped the Precinct will be able to host events and entertainment in the future.

MORE: Council reveals £100k summer overhaul for Portishead Precinct.

The area is owned by a third-party but it is the district council’s responsibility to maintain it.

The overhaul is due to finish before the end of the year and cost about £102,000.

A council spokesman said: “We have set procedures in place for investigating, handling and concluding claims brought against us in conjunction with our insurers.”

Research conducted by the AA found 67 per cent of falls in the South West were due to overgrown vegetation encroaching footpaths.

An AA spokesman said: “The government and local authorities repeatedly encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and take to their feet or to two wheels for short journeys.

“But the state of the pavements means walkers are expected to run the gauntlet of pavement hazards which are just as dangerous as the potholes which can injure or kill cyclists and damage cars.

“Pavements are particularly dangerous at night and more so in places where street lights are switched off after midnight to save money.

“These hazards are bad enough for fit and able pedestrians but for those with impaired sight, a physical disability, with pushchairs or young children to manage, they can become serious issues.”

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