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HIGHWAY REPAIRS: Merthyr Tydfil Highway faults investment

HIGHWAY REPAIRS: Merthyr Tydfil Highway faults investment

Image: LDRS

The council is planning to spend £250,000 dealing with highways issues like potholes, faulty paving and kerbs in Merthyr Tydfil to reduce claims against them.

A report to cabinet on Wednesday, September 8, recommends that an additional £250,000 is used from reserves for highway repairs this year.

The report said that there is currently a “substantial backlog” of 950 highway defects, all of which meet the criteria of a potential claim against the authority.

It said if the extra £250,000 was spent, the backlog of highway defects could be significantly reduced as well as the risk of potential third-party claims against the council.

The report said: “Due to a significant reduction in highways funding since 2013 highway defects have increased to a degree that it is impossible to manage without additional investment. ”

Since 2013 the lowest number of recorded defects was 456 in 2015/16 with the highest being 1192 in 2018/19.

Outstanding works orders are all classed as safety related defects where each one meets the criteria of a potential third-party claim against the
authority.

This also means that each defect presents a risk to the public where an
accident or damage to a vehicle may occur

Outstanding safety defects contribute to the high number of complaints
received from local residents, the report said.

They range from potholes, defective paving, kerbs, gullies and manhole covers and they present an insurance risk for slips, trips, falls and car tyre claims.

The report said that for each insurance claim, the highways department generates lost hours of staff time in producing reports and possible court
appearances to defend the council.

It added that additional investment this financial year could reduce the number of claimable defects close to zero and, although highway defects can occur at any time, reducing the number significantly this year will allow the highways team to effectively control and prevent the number of defects increasing to the levels seen in previous years.

If approved, an external contractor will carry out the repair works required under the 950 work orders this financial year.

 

Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter


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