From Andover to Axminster, Leicester to Liverpool, Winchester to Whitby, it seems that every street, in every city, town and village in the UK is blighted with a dangerous pothole.
In his Autumn budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that councils in England are to immediately receive an additional £420million to tackle them. Road industry experts have said that a staggering £8billion is needed for a one-time fix of all the potholes in England whilst the AA claims that a ‘pothole epidemic’ has caused a huge dent to their profits.
What of the human cost to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists?
On a visit to my elderly in-laws this weekend in Epping, Essex I had the repeated misfortune to experience at first hand the hip-breaking, widow-making potholes below. Over the years, these potholes, at the intersection of two busy residential roads, have become almost as familiar to me as my walks with Monty over Stonards Hill and the cheeky pint in the George & Dragon.
I don’t (always) carry a tape measure on me but the fact I needed to take a run-up to avoid these ankle-twisters gives you a good idea of their size.
If a pothole like this causes you to suffer significant personal injury, damage and loss, the council or local authority will defend a claim if they are able to prove that when you fell into the abyss, they had in place a reasonable system of inspection and repair of the road or pavement concerned and were unaware of the deadly defect. Neither are they expected to ensure that our roads and pavements are maintained to a billiard table quality. You and your lawyer need to prove that their system was sub-standard and any efforts to repair the Grand Canyon across your High Street was ineffective.
On Saturday I tweeted the picture and a report to both Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council and I shall check in with my folks at the end of the week to ask if anything has been done. I don’t have high hopes.
If we were all to make similar reports about the gargantuan potholes in our towns and villages, our local authorities would have fewer excuses not to repair a hazardous pothole without undue delay. After all, preventative action will always be cheaper and far less painful, than doing nothing. Your council should have a place on their website for you to make reports. Alternatively, call them and report the defect. Be specific about the location and make a note of the date and time and name of the individual you reported it to. Be a good citizen. Do it today.
Grant Evatt 29th October 2018
Alma Law is a bespoke, client focused and ethical firm of personal injury solicitors. We dedicate ourselves to helping people who have suffered serious injuries to rebuild their lives. We deliver a high-quality service to ensure that each and every one of our deserving clients receives the very best advice and support.