Almost £100k compo for faulty footpaths

Councillor Kevin Campbell pictured at the collapsed manhole at the junction of Arranmore Avenue and Linsfort Drive on Wednesday afternoon. 2910JM16
Councillor Kevin Campbell pictured at the collapsed manhole at the junction of Arranmore Avenue and Linsfort Drive on Wednesday afternoon. 2910JM16

Taxpayers have forked out almost £100,000 since 2008 in compensation to people who have been injured by faulty footpaths in Derry.

Department of Regional Development (DRD) figures released to the ‘Journal’ show a total of 109 compensation claims due to defective footpaths were made between April 2008 and March of this year - with a total of £93,750 paid out.

Derry’s deputy mayor, Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell says it is vital the public help keep the city’s roads and footpaths in the best possible condition.

He says the amount of money paid out for injuries in the Derry City area is well below areas of similar population across the north.

“If people have genuine injuries caused by defective footpaths then they are entitled to compensation.

“As elected representatives we are constantly reporting the likes of broken pavements, street lights that are not working, to DRD Road Service and they are repaired as speedily as possible.

“You will regularly see DRD staff in the city carrying out spot checks and marking out footpaths that are in need of repair.

“We have just come through a very harsh winter with many of our roads and footpaths needing emergency repairs and that has had a deep impact on the annual budget for repairs.”

The figures show that in 2008 a total of £17,000 was paid out as a result of injuries caused by footpaths in Derry. That figure rose to £51,250 in 2009, while last year it stood at £25,500.

Over the same three year time period more than £600,000 was paid out in North Belfast, while more than £485,000 was paid out in South Belfast.

The three year total in Lisburn stands at just over £288,000 while in Newtownabbey more than £128,000 was paid out.