‘Project 30’ hailed as reason for fall in pothole claims

Coun Fred Jackson says pothole claims have fallen thanks to Project 30
Coun Fred Jackson says pothole claims have fallen thanks to Project 30

Just two compensation claims have been paid out by council chiefs in the last year for damage caused to vehicles by potholes on Blackpool’s roads.

Figures released by the RAC Foundation show only three claims were made with Blackpool Council last year, with the two successful claims totalling £1,089.

Coun Fred Jackson

Coun Fred Jackson

Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council bosses have shelled out £36,000 in compensation for the same year, with almost £200,000 paid in the past three years.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: “As everyone knows, we have invested heavily in our road network via Project 30.

“This has significantly upgraded the quality of our road surfaces which, in turn, will reduce the number of vehicle damage claims and personal injury claims which can be a significant strain on our ever diminishing resources.

“A lot of this money ends up in the pockets of solicitors who, sadly, now make an industry out of such claims.

Although we’re ranked 19th in this list, we’re the 12th largest highways authority out of the 207 in England, Scotland and Wales

County Coun John Fillis

“That is something that is now a fact of life so to be ahead of the game is absolutely vital and Blackpool is already feeling the benefits by being better protected.”

Over the three years since 2012/13, 17 successful claims have been made against Blackpool Council.

Blackpool ranks 195th in the list of local authorities, based on the number of claims made in 2014/15, compared with Lancashire which ranks 19th.

A total of 378 claims were made with Lancashire County Council in the last year, with 101 of those being successful.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our highest priority is the safety of people using Lancashire’s roads.

“We’ve significantly reduced the amount paid out in legal claims as a result of damage to vehicles.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen year-on-year reductions in the number of claims being made against the council, and the number of successful claims has reduced by 50 per cent in just two years.

“We introduced a new system in 2013 for dealing with problems on Lancashire’s roads, which fixes potholes more effectively and efficiently.

“Although we’re ranked 19th in this list, we’re the 12th largest highways authority out of the 207 in England, Scotland and Wales.

“We have a rigorous system to inspect the roads, pick up on any faults and carry out repairs. We’re doing everything we can to keep Lancashire’s roads in a safe condition.”