According to the Inverness Courier, outstanding street injury claims for potholes and uneven pavement surfaces in the Highlands amount to more than £½ million.
Following a Freedom of Information request to the Highlands Council, the Inverness Courier recently reported that – over the past six years – in excess of £600,000 has been claimed in compensation for injuries sustained within the council´s boundaries due to potholes in the street and uneven pavement surfaces.
As only a fraction of the street injury claims for potholes and uneven pavement surfaces has been resolved in this time, the Highland Council has a potential compensation liability of more than £½ million.
The largest outstanding claim has been waiting more than three and a half years to be resolved, and relates to an Inverness resident who suffered a serious back injury when tripping and falling over a pothole in Inverness City Centre in February 2012. The injured victim is claiming £147,591 compensation.
Many of the other street injury claims for potholes and uneven pavement surfaces also date back for several years. A Fortrose resident has been waiting two and a half years for his claim for a leg injury to be resolved, while a woman who suffered a serious facial injury due to tripping and falling on Inverness´s Southside Road has been waiting nearly as long.
According to data scraped from the Freedom of Information request, more than six thousand potholes and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council last year – although it is likely that these figures are inflated due to different members of the public reporting the same fault.
Nonetheless, the Inverness Courier also reports that it is not just the state of Inverness´s pavements that give residents cause for concern. Last year the Highland Council scored third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities in the Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey for the poor condition of the area´s roads.
In response to the Inverness Courier´s article about street injury claims for potholes and uneven pavement surfaces, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.