£168m has been allocated by the Government to councils across England in a bid to help fix the overwhelming number of potholes on our roads. The money is welcomed and will help prevent the rise in pothole accident claims. The funding will be split between 148 councils in England in the hope of improving the state of our roads by March 2015.
The money allocated to each council must be used to repair potholes, or to put into place actions to stop potholes occurring in the first place. The councils will have to publish reports showing what repairs have been made on a monthly basis.
Potholes can cause nasty accidents and injuries and are a great concern to all road users, in particular, drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Many accidents can happen as cars veer into other lanes to avoid them, as well as cars hitting potholes and losing control. Cyclists and motorbike riders are already vulnerable users of our roads and the consequences of hitting a pothole for cyclists can be severe, resulting in them sustaining serious injuries. Slips, trips and falls for pedestrians can also be as a result of poor road surfaces, and result in someone suffering injuries.
Freeclaim Solicitors have seen first-hand the result of these accidents, and how they can affect people’s lives. Tim Kitchin, an Associate Solicitor specialising in pothole accident claims, comments, “Although the Government are attempting to tackle the problems on our roads, they are a long way from making them safe for all roads users and removing the dangers of potholes. Until these are fully addressed and adequately fixed, people are still going to get injured as a result.”
In March 2014, a survey by the AA showed that 40% of people believed their local roads were in a terrible condition. This is up from 29% in October 2013. The AA welcomed the money, but that more is needed to ensure that the problems on our roads do not reappear. The President of the AA commented saying, “This new Government money is very welcome but it will only be truly effective if roads are re-surfaced on time and not just patched up after each winter.”
Under the Highways Act, local authorities have a duty to maintain roads and pavements and must regularly inspect and repair defects to prevent pothole accidents. Pothole accident claims can be complex therefore Freeclaim Solicitors recommend that gathering as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident, including taking photos of the scene and the area around, a measurement on the photo is vital (for example, placing a ruler or coin as a reference), and taking any details of witnesses to the accident. If the accident was in a residential area, you can also ask the residents whether they know how long the pothole has been there and whether they know of any other pothole accidents on the street.
Freeclaim Solicitors can help with all types of pothole accident claims. With a dedicated team of injury solicitors, we have the legal expertise and a track record of success to help win your claim. To start your claim call today on 0800 612 7340, open 24 hours. Or you can fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll give you a call back.