Hertfordshire County pays out over £1.3m in pavement compensation claims

August 26, 2009 9:40 AM

Hertfordshire County Council has paid out more than £1.3m over the last five years, in compensation following pavement trips and falls over the last five years and the amount could still rise with almost 478 cases still to be resolved.

Sal Brinton, Parliamentary Candidate for Watford said "The number of compensation claims in Hertfordshire increased last year from 319 to 424, and the total compensation paid since 2004 now exceeds £1.3m, which is money that could have been spend on improving pavements and preventing these problems in the first place. It is outrageous that taxpayers are paying massive compensation claims, especially when council and household budgets are under even more pressure."

Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary said "Although some councils are investing heavily to improve their footways, others seem content to almost ignore pedestrians entirely. Too many councils seem interested only in motorists and not those who walk, cycle or take the bus.

"It appears that some councils seem to be making the cynical calculation that they can afford to pay out compensation rather than invest in improving pavements. This could prove to be a costly mistake if pavements are allowed to deteriorate too far."

The information was released following a Freedom of Information survey by the Liberal Democrats. 90 councils have paid out over £82m in compensation following pavement trips and falls over the last five years and the amount could still rise with almost 10,000 cases still to be resolved.