‘Staggering’ amount paid out to victims of uneven pavements

First published in News

The county council is paying an average of almost £40,000 per year to victims of pavements falls in the Test Valley.

It’s been revealed that a total of £195,592, in compensation was paid out between 2007 and 2012 to fall victims in Romsey and Andover.

Asked what action was being taken to reduce the risk of falls on pavements and cut compensation claims, cabinet spokesman for the environment, Mel Kendal, said the council had earmarked £520,000 for improving footways in the Test Valley between 2011 and 2013 and of this cash, £155,000 will go towards Romsey-based schemes.

Romsey’s county councillor and town mayor Mark Cooper said the amount paid out to injured pedestrians was “staggering” but action was being taken to improve pavements.

“Romsey’s pavements are an issue. A key problem is lorries parking on the pavements and damaging them. It is essential that when they are broken, people report it to the county council immediately, so that they can be quickly repaired,” said Mr Cooper.

He said that around £1m was being made available to enhance pedestrian safety in Romsey and this cash was coming from various sources including developers contributions from the 800-home Abbotswood estate.

Richard Kidd, who has been researching how much cash the county council has paid out to fall victims in the Test Valley and elsewhere in Hampshire, says it is “shocking” that people are being injured on “defective” pavements in both towns.

“The NHS is spending a lot of money treating people who have fallen over on pavements and injured themselves. Figures for the number of people who’ve fallen on pavements in the Test Valley and claimed compensation are pretty disgraceful,” said Mr Kidd, stressing that not all fall victims claim compensation.

He added: “If Hampshire County Council carried out remedial work on defective pavements immediately they were reported, it would save the NHS a lot of money.”

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