Edinburgh’s broken pavements result in £77k in injury payouts

Picture: Andrew O'Brien

Picture: Andrew O'Brien

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BROKEN pavements have seen Rose Street and Picardy Place named as accident hotspots after more than 200 people were hurt tripping on city footpaths in the last two and a half years.

Almost £77,000 has been dished out in compensation by the city council since 2014 – and many claims for falls over the last 18 months are still to be settled. Injuries caused by damaged or uneven paving slabs have ranged from broken limbs to sprains – with one person pocketing £16,000 after a spill.

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Legal experts said the compensation payments would generally cover loss of earnings while victims recovered.

And serious injury specialists Thompsons Scotland said they had dealt with a number of claims for falls on Rose Street and Picardy Place.

According to figures released under Freedom of Information laws, the city council coughed up £71,505 in 2014 after 114 claims, and £5302 last year following 87 claims.

The council has received ten claims so far this year, though no cash has yet been awarded.

Councillor Steve Burgess, convener of the Edinburgh Greens, said: “It would be far better to be preventing injury in the first place by investing in more pavement repair.”

Campaign groups including walking charity Living Streets Scotland also blamed a chronic lack of investment.

Director Stuart Hay said: “Edinburgh’s streets are suffering from years of underinvestment and austerity is making the problem worst. This is false economy as trips and falls put pressure on local social services and NHS hospitals.”

Jayne Crawford, a partner at Thompsons, said there were “multiple areas” across the city where there was potential for someone to hurt themselves.

And she added: “There might be people injured on pavements or other surfaces who don’t have the evidence to prove it.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport and environment leader, insisted that the council was doing its best to improve pavements and walkways.

She said: “We’re working very hard to making Edinburgh’s roads and pavements as safe, well-maintained and accessible as possible. The council will be investing £2.5 million in capital footway works for 2016/17.”