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Pedestrians make 10,000 compensation claims after tripping on pavements

A total of £2.1 million was paid out to the successful claimants.

Pedestrians made more than 10,000 compensation claims for trips and slips on pavements in just one year, an investigation has found.

UK councils received 10,572 such claims in the 12 months to the end of May, according to Freedom of Information research by the AA.

A total of £2.1 million was paid out to the successful claimants.

AA president Edmund King warned the figures show that “walking can be like negotiating a minefield”.

Hillingdon Council in London had the most successful claims, paying out in 115 out of 148 cases.

Liverpool City Council saw the most unsuccessful claims. It made no payouts despite receiving 448 claims.

Some 365 of 421 local authorities across the UK responded to the AA’s information request.

Shetland Islands Council was the only one which reported receiving no claims.

A separate AA survey of 16,000 motorists found that 73% are concerned about uneven pavements.

One in four (25%) have encountered damaged ironwork such as drain covers, while two-thirds (64%) have seen paths encroached by overgrown trees and hedges.

The state of the pavements means walkers are expected to run the gauntlet of pavement hazards that are just as dangerous as potholes Edmund King, AA president

Mr King said: “The Government and local authorities repeatedly encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and take to their feet or to two wheels for short journeys.

“But the state of the pavements means walkers are expected to run the gauntlet of pavement hazards that are just as dangerous as the potholes that can injure or kill cyclists and damage cars.

“Pavements are particularly dangerous at night and more so in places where street lights are switched off after midnight to save money.”

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Councils know that the condition of pavements is a key priority for residents and want to make sure they are safe to use by all pedestrians.

“Councils do a huge amount to maintain pavements with the resources available.

“Any deterioration of our roads and pavements is down to decades of underfunding from successive governments and recent severe winters. Councils want to bring them fully up to scratch but need a fairer funding deal and greater government investment to allow this to happen.”

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