It is reported by the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman that 2017 “could be a tipping point regarding potholes”. Huge amounts of local authority cash are apparently being spent to fix potholes despite a government allocation announced in November 2016 of £17 million in the years 2017/18.
Recently, a local authority was served a personal injury claim when, in 2012, a member of the public reported to the council the presence of deep potholes in the road. The evening after the council were notified, a person jogging unfortunately stepped into the pothole, lost his balance and fell, suffering injury to his ankle which left him unable to bear weight on it for 10 days. Subsequently, the pothole was filled and repaired. A claim was brought alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty on behalf of the local authority. It was subsequently held that the council’s reporting system had failed and that reasonable steps had not been taken to prevent the injury. The judge stated that there must be some means of responding quickly to complaints from the public of serious and dangerous defects in the road.
Potholes are a modern menace for all road users and this recent case highlights the need for highway authorities to have suitable systems enabling them to act rapidly and appropriately to reports of serious road defects.
If you have been injured as a result of a trip or fall due to poorly maintained roads or pavements, please contact Claire who is a member of our specialist personal injury team on 023 9282 0747.