£1.2million bill to cover your pothole claims in Basildon

Basildon Recorder: Taxi driver Ralph Morgan in Wickford Avenue in Pitsea Taxi driver Ralph Morgan in Wickford Avenue in Pitsea

BASILDON’S crumbling roads have cost County Hall £1.2million after hundreds of claims were made against them, statistics show.

The latest figures, released after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, show between 2008 and 2012, claims made because of damage to people or vehicles resulted in Essex County Council paying out the eye-watering sum.

It comes after transport bosses vowed last week to plough £4.8million into fixing the county’s roads in its budget for 2014/15.

Taxi driver Ralph Morgan, spokesman for the Basildon Hackney Carriage Association, said: “The issue is the county council just does makeshift repairs and then they crumble again six months down the line.

“It’s a complete waste of money and time. Some of Basildon’s roads are in a terrible state – Wickford Avenue in Pitsea is atrocious.

“It is disgusting. If the council does the works itself they seem to hold up much better than when their contractors do the work.”

The majority of the 309 successful claims in Basildon were down to vehicle damage.

However, County Hall said 85 per cent of claims it received were successfully defended.

In 2009, there were 124 Basildon claims against the authority, resulting in a payout of £620,778.

Residents have also bemoaned the poor state of the borough’s pothole-ridden roads.

Chrsitina Elsey, of Holden Gardens, Basildon, said: “There is a huge pothole outside my son’s house in Methersgate, and it is a good foot wide and deep.

“It goes across the whole road and has been there since Christmas, but we’ve contacted the council to no avail.”

The second highest place for payouts because of poor roads in Essex was Epping Forest – with the council having to shell out more than £800,000.

The figure is dwarfed by payouts in Basildon, which total £1,210,327.

The majority of these claims are thought to be due to potholes.

Essex County Council has a specific pot of cash to handle payouts.

A spokesman said: “Keeping roads and footpaths to the standard that Essex residents expect is a top priority.

“There is currently an extensive programme of works being carried out to maintain and enhance the network and over the four year period commencing 2013-14 we will be spending £180million on highwaysmaintenance, including an additional £35million investment.”

Comments (5)

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4:09pm Wed 12 Feb 14

emcee says...

Quote Ralph Morgan: “If the council does the works itself they seem to hold up much better than when their contractors do the work.”
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This is the case with most aspects of council responsibilities where these responsibilities are farmed out to private contractors. It really is a false economy. Contractors are often brought in merely to save money and with no quality control safeguards attached to the contracts. If contractors must be used then it is about time they were paid on the quality of the work they do rather than get paid regardless.

As for the amount spent on claims, the council had better up that amount for the coming periods. As the road conditions are now worse than they ever have been in recent history, even more claims are going to be made and more of these claims are going to end up in court, which is more expensive for the council, as the council dismisses these claims (in the hope the claimant will go away) in a bid to save money.
Quote Ralph Morgan: “If the council does the works itself they seem to hold up much better than when their contractors do the work.” - This is the case with most aspects of council responsibilities where these responsibilities are farmed out to private contractors. It really is a false economy. Contractors are often brought in merely to save money and with no quality control safeguards attached to the contracts. If contractors must be used then it is about time they were paid on the quality of the work they do rather than get paid regardless. As for the amount spent on claims, the council had better up that amount for the coming periods. As the road conditions are now worse than they ever have been in recent history, even more claims are going to be made and more of these claims are going to end up in court, which is more expensive for the council, as the council dismisses these claims (in the hope the claimant will go away) in a bid to save money. emcee
  • Score: 7

5:50pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

They still owe me £130 with interest.
They still owe me £130 with interest. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -1

5:57pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

Shame they didn't fix them all when they said they were going to a few years back. It's the ones that have been round all that time that keep getting bigger that will be the ones causing the damage.

A stitch in time and all that......
Shame they didn't fix them all when they said they were going to a few years back. It's the ones that have been round all that time that keep getting bigger that will be the ones causing the damage. A stitch in time and all that...... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

12:29am Thu 13 Feb 14

Discouraged says...

There are probably people who have been hurt, or worse because of potholes.
There are probably people who have been hurt, or worse because of potholes. Discouraged
  • Score: 0

11:49am Fri 14 Feb 14

Stamper2 says...

Essex County Council need to get their act in gear over this major disaster. The roads around Basildon are a disgrace, and have been clearly under-invested in for many years. The mystery is where our tax actually goes, because with police stations closing, the army being cut, local council services being cut, etc etc, there is still no money around. Something is wrong.
Essex County Council [ECC] need to get their act in gear over this major disaster. The roads around Basildon are a disgrace, and have been clearly under-invested in for many years. The mystery is where our tax actually goes, because with police stations closing, the army being cut, local council services being cut, etc etc, there is still no money around. Something is wrong. Stamper2
  • Score: 2

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