Road surface

This is a really boring post but it might save someone time and effort in the future, so beware the topic title and re-read at your leisure…

I’ve noticed a few posts over the last month or so where folk have suggested claiming for problems on the actual road from the council or highways agency or whoever, so I thought I would share my experience. 

As far as I can tell, unless there is one of two things wrong, then the chance of payout are nil. One is if a farmer has spilled a load of muck, left a trail from his field and it’s obviously his fault - or similar obvious trail of evidence pointing to someone. The second is if there has been an accident, there police have attended and there’s stuff on the road that hasn’t been cleared. Potholes I know some people have had success, but around 75% of claims get rejected.

My case was concerning debris on the road. I followed all the procedures and eventually it was rejected. Under the Highways Act, the authority has a duty to maintain the road, but only the fabric of it. Therefore, any debris on the road itself, may it be gravel, grit, pieces of rubbish, bits of car or whatever, aren’t ‘reasonably’ their responsibility. Or as they put it ‘statutory duty under section 41 does not extend to the removal of, “surface lying material”.’ They also, somewhat shockingly, cite a case brought by the widow of a biker who slipped on gravel in Brentford in 2010, as precedence.

When I tried to make a claim against Merton Council I was given the run around, saying they couldn’t get hold of the attending policeman and denying they hadn’t put the sand down on the diesel or even had it reported. 

I gave up and even the no win no fee company just said make a claim via Motor Insurers’ Bureau