Figures just released by Rochdale council reveal that since 2003 it has paid out £2,662,018 to pedestrians who claim compensation for a trip on its pavements. This money was split between 1,400 successful claimants who injured themselves on the council’s pavements. This averages out at £1,800 a claim.
However, the figures reveal a falling trend in the amount of compensation awarded. The amount awarded in 2007 was £1.4 million compared to just £200,000 paid out in 2007. The council puts the decrease down to regular inspection of footpaths to check for health and safety problems for pedestrians. Examples of such problems are raised pavements slabs, loose pavement slabs or even excessively dangerous pavements.
Rochdale Councils Highways manager, Terry Leedham stated that the reduction in figures was down to the newly introduced “regular inspection of roads and footpaths.”
He also stated the importance of the publics help in reporting potentially dangerous footpaths: “Where defects are found or reported to us by the public, assuming they meet the criteria for repair, we will remove any hazards to reduce the chance of a trip or fall happening.”
However, with the recent prolonged spell of cold weather the chances of pavement defects occurring are greatly increased. All councils face an uphill battle to inspect and keep up with repairs, and keep pavements safe for all users.