Call for council to go easier over pot-hole compensation claims
- Credit: Archant © 2005
Council bosses should go easier on drivers whose cars are damaged by pot-holes on Norfolk’s roads, when it comes to compensation claims, councillors have said.
But officers at Norfolk County Council hit back at that call, saying it was important the authority’s “robust” approach of dealing with such claims remained in place - for all cases.
Between January 2018 and October last year, the council received 1,035 compensation claims over vehicle damage or personal injury caused by pot-holes, according to a request under the Freedom Of Information Act.
During that period, the council paid out £23,105 in compensation.
However, some councillors questioned whether the council is too stringent around they way it defends compensation claims - and suggested that, in some cases, the authority ought to be more willing to pay out.
You may also want to watch:
The issue was raised at a meeting of the infrastructure and development select committee, where councillors were told that the number of pot-hole reports in 2018/19 fell from the 8,500 in 2017/18 to about 6,000.
So far in 2019/20 there have been just over 4,000 pot-holes reported.
The fall is partly due to milder winters and because 2018 saw considerable damage due to the Beast from the East.
- 1 Person pulled from car as rain lashes region
- 2 Teenager who lost driving licence receives surprise in post
- 3 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
- 4 ‘It went up like a matchstick’ - Neighbour’s horror at blaze
- 5 Fire crews still at scene as investigation launched into house blaze
- 6 Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in A47 crash
- 7 Road closed due to accident after car reportedly flips on to its roof
- 8 Five cars and a horsebox involved in crash near RAF base
- 9 Family devastated after death of much-loved and well-known horse
- 10 Wartime spirit fills north Norfolk as 1940s weekend returns
Bev Spratt, Conservative councillor for West Depwade, raised the question of whether the council was too tough on drivers who claim compensation for pot-hole damage.
He said: “I think we can handle some cases a lot better. These are residents paying high council tax now and they expect the roads to be in fairly good order. There should be just a little leeway to meet those people halfway who have smashed up two wheels and have to cover the cost themselves.”
But Tom McCabe, the council’s head of paid service and director of community and environmental services, said it was important to have a robust policy in place which treated all drivers equally.
He said payments would be made to those with legitimate claims, but said: “If somebody has damaged their car on the roads they can put in an insurance claim to the county council.
“The county council has a very strong defence and as long as we have a robust inspection programme in place, we have a very high success rate of refuting claims.”