Damage and injuries caused by potholes and broken pavements in Norfolk have triggered more than £100,000 in compensation payouts.

Almost 700 compensation claims have been made to Norfolk County Council over the past two years - the bulk of which were for damage or injury caused by pot-holes or defective footpaths.

Statistics obtained using the Freedom of Information Act revealed that, while the council successfully defended the majority of the claims, it did admit liability in more than 100 cases - about 80 involving potholes or pavements.

Eastern Daily Press: Potholes on Norfolk's roads sparked compensation claimsPotholes on Norfolk's roads sparked compensation claims (Image: Archant)

And that left the council having to pay more than £100,000, in compensation, including to drivers and pedestrians.

Two of the largest payments were settlements in the region of £11,000.

Those claims were made by pedestrians. Both were in west Norfolk, with one walker hurt after stepping into a pothole and another injured due to a defective footpath.

Other settlements included £6,000 because of a defective kerb and £7,500 for another defective footpath.

Grahame Bygrave, the county council's director of highways and waste, said: “We look at every claim on its merits and if we have met our responsibilities we will certainly defend a claim in order to protect the interests of Norfolk council taxpayers."

In July, the council confirmed the bill to clear the county's 'maintenance backlog' had grown to £57.4m - an increase of almost 20pc in a year.

That figure is how much it would cost the council to get roads and bridges up to the standards they should be in.

Eastern Daily Press: Liberal Democrat county councillor Steffan Aquarone.Liberal Democrat county councillor Steffan Aquarone. (Image: Alex Broadway)

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat councillor for Melton Constable, said: "What's patently obvious is that we cannot maintain the roads we have got.

"Anyone who has driven on Norfolk's roads in the past couple of years will recognise that the repairs which are done are being done in a way which is not tenable or long-lasting.

"While some roads are being maintained at a decent level, the cost is going up and we are particularly feeling the effects in rural areas."

Mr Aquarone questioned whether it made sense for the council to want to spend £251m to build the new Norwich Western Link when it was struggling to maintain existing roads.

But Mr Bygrave said millions was being spent to improve the county's roads.

He said: "This year we are spending over £40m on highway maintenance, which includes replacing worn out pavements, improving drainage, repairing bridges, and resurfacing or surface dressing roads.

"In September 2021, councillors approved an additional £10m pothole fund, to be spent over four years, which is allowing us to not only tackle existing issues but importantly enabling us to do more proactive maintenance which helps to prevent potholes opening up in the first place."

The council says it carries out regular inspections along its 6,200-mile long road network, but urged people to report defects via norfolk.gov.uk/highwayproblem.


Injury after tripping on tree roots and damage to a property because a roof was not weather-proof were among successful compensation claims made to Norfolk's district councils.

Norwich City Council paid out almost £3,000 after a person's property was damaged because the authority had delayed weather proofing a roof.

That was one of seven claims against the city council which were settled between 2021 and 2023, a period in which 70 claims were made.

One of the unsuccessful claims was from a person who said they were hurt after they slipped from "an unsecured toilet seat".

West Norfolk Council paid out for two claims, including one because a property had been damaged by a tree.