According to freedom of information requests from motoring organisation ‘AA’, councils last year are reported to have paid £2.1m in compensation to pedestrians who tripped on pavements.
These were collected from 365 councils, who in total faced 10,200 claims for falls on pavements, where complainants claimed poor maintenance was a factor.
President of AA, Edmund King says: “The government and local authorities repeatedly encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and take to their feet or to two wheels for short journeys.
“But the state of the pavements means walkers are expected to run the gauntlet of pavement hazards that are just as dangerous as the potholes that can injure or kill cyclists and damage cars.”
Mr King expressed his concerns for the particularly dangerous areas where councils have chosen to switch off street lights during parts of the night as an economy measure.
According to the AA, the London Borough of Hillingdon had the highest proportion of successful claims made against it, paying total compensation of £346,596.
In comparison, last year, Liverpool City Council received 448 claims but none were successful.
Each year more UK pedestrians are involved in accidents due to the poor quality of our roads and pavements. So what are councils doing to fix this?
A Local Government Association spokesperson said: “Councils know that the condition of pavements is a key priority for residents and want to make sure they are safe to use by all pedestrians.
“Councils do a huge amount to maintain pavements with the resources available. Any deterioration of our roads and pavements is down to decades of underfunding from successive governments and recent severe winters. Councils want to bring them fully up to scratch but need a fairer funding deal and greater government investment to allow this to happen.”