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SPECIAL REPORT: Claims caused by potholes soar by a third

PUBLISHED: 14:43 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:55 24 August 2010

Damaged: Streets across the borough have hundreds of potholes

Damaged: Streets across the borough have hundreds of potholes

MORE and more potholes in roads and broken pavements caused the costs of claims relating to injuries on the borough s streets to soar by almost a third. Brent Council s budget report showed that the cost of claims related to accidents by members of the

MORE and more potholes in roads and broken pavements caused the costs of claims relating to injuries on the borough's streets to soar by almost a third.

Brent Council's budget report showed that the cost of claims related to accidents by members of the public on pavements and highways went up from £685,000 in 2007/2008 to £886,000 in 2008/2009.

It was expected to remain at a similar level for 2009/2010.

A combination of the recent heavy snowfall and the use of grit has been blamed on the increase of potholes.

One particular road that is shared by Brent and Westminster councils is so bad that councillors from the latter authority are calling for urgent repairs to be carried out.

Even though Kilburn Lane, in Queen's Park, covers both boroughs, the pot holes are the responsibility of Brent Council.

According to Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour councillor for Westminster's Queen's Park ward, residents have aired their concerns about the horrific state of the road that has so many potholes it is considered a danger to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.

He said: "We have alerted Westminster Council to the problems and have been assured that the pot holes are the responsibility of Brent Council."

The proliferation of bumps and dips on the streets has resulted in one councillor accusing council chiefs of 'wasting money' on consultants while pavements were being allowed to fall into disrepair.

Cllr James Powney, Labour councillor for Kensal Green ward, said: "There are more pot holes in Brent's roads than there are in the Yorkshire Dales and they are a danger to motorists in general and especially to cyclists.

"Instead of wasting money on consultants who tell us nothing new we should repair our roads and pavements."

A Brent Council spokesman said: "London has experienced some of the worst winter conditions for 30 years and this has led to significant damage to roads in all boroughs.

"The priority for all councils is to make potholes safe, starting with main roads and then moving onto side roads and residential streets filling holes as they are reported by engineers or residents.

"Major routes for public transport and emergency services are always a priority."

Last week, the Times exclusively revealed that council tills are ringing to the tune of more than £5 million profits from parking fines.

Council chiefs said the raised cash would not be transferred to another department, pointing to the council's statutory duty to spend it on transport, with the majority going on roads.

ben.greening@archant.co.uk

sofia.mitra-thakur@archant.co.uk

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