JUDGE RAPS COUNCIL FOR DISPUTING POTHOLE CLAIM
Ealing Borough Council have been severely rebuked by a district judge for wasting hundreds of pounds of taxpayers money in a court dispute over a £90 claim by cyclist Andrew Hillier.
Hillier buckled his rear wheel in a pothole while riding along Uxbridge Road last June.
“Despite the council admitting that the pothole was of sufficient depth to require immediate repair, it decided to defend the claim and subsequently lost,” said Hillier.
Brentford County Court District Judge Mr Plaskow expressed his deep disappointment with the council for deciding to defend a case, which was clearly in favour of the claimant. It should never have been brought to court, he said.
The judge added that the council was lucky that the pothole had not caused serious injury. He said the council should seriously consider defending claims for such small amounts of money. Mr Hillier was awarded £170 in damages.
The pothole was 35mm in depth, which was 10mm deeper than the level when a repair is considered necessary.
Hillier said he was delighted with the outcome: “As a taxpayer, I’m outraged at the amount of time and money the council has wasted trying to defend the indefensible.”
He added: “Ealing Council consistently talks about being cycle-friendly council but he fact remains that many of the designated cycle routes within the borough are strewn with hazards.”
A council spokesman, asked to comment, said: “We respect the court’s decision. This was a complicated case and since this incident the road has been repaired. Last year we spent a significant amount on enhancing cycle paths in the borough and the council will continue to make such improvements to its roads and footpaths.”