Industry news roundup: week ended 30 Oct 2014:
So here’s one news story that will make your head spin: there was more than $150,000 spent on pothole-related personal injury compensation in Lincolnshire.
No, that’s not a figure I made up right here on the spot – it’s true. A new freedom of information request revealed that in 2013 Lincolnshire council shelled out $157,266 on pothole-related accident claims. Even worse is that the local authority spent nearly as much last year at £133,015!
Lincolnshire was already reeling after Britannia Rescue dubbed it the pothole capital of the UK in 2013. However it seems that the problem is still raging, and raging hard – and the problem will likely continue to snowball according to Councillor Richard Davies.
Davies, the highways executive member for the county, says that the council obviously wants to prevent potholes. The local authority has no choice but to pay out when it’s liable though, and Davies says that the condition of Lincolnshire roads are so abysmal due to generations of under-investment that have left local roads looking in terrible shape.
The massive payouts weren’t just for damage done to vehicles, either – plenty of personal injury compensation cases were heard after pedestrians slipped and tripped on the craggy lunar landscape that Lincolnshire has been passing off as roads and pavement. With winter rapidly approaching, these potholes are just going to get worse; the council has struggled to get enough funding to fill them in, even with the £5.5 million in matched funds from the Government.
Honestly this is just a massive mess waiting to happen. I know that Lincolnshire is running out of cash faster than a university student with no money flees Amsterdam’s red light district, but something’s got to be done about this don’t you think? It’s bloody ridiculous that it’s become so unsafe to drive through or even walk about in the county. Not to mention the maddening costs that these accident claims are having on local residents; lest we forget that it’s taxpayer funds that end up being spent not just on plugging these seemingly unending stream of potholes but also ends up being spent on personal injury lawyers to represent the council in court. Legal fees aren’t cheap, and with every penny spent on lawsuits that’s one less spent on filling potholes!