Hammersmith & FulhamNews

New survey on road repairs and compensation show fewer complaints about road surfaces in Hammersmith and Fulham


Motorists in west London may have to cope with high levels of congestion, box junctions and parking restrictions, but there is one hazard they can’t moan about – potholes.

A new survey about road repairs and compensation claims across the capital show that there were fewer complaints about road surfaces in Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, than in any other borough in London.

And even Westminster’s tally was low compared to most boroughs.

The latest statistics have earned the west London authorities praise from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

In the financial year just ended, there were 55 calls to the local authority at Kensington and Chelsea to report potholes and substandard roads. In Hammersmith and Fulham, the figure was 149 and in Hammersmith and Fulham 149.

Westminster’s complaints tally reached 627, but only eight other boroughs scored lower.

More than 1,000 calls were taken in Redbridge, Sutton, and Merton. two thousand calls were taken in Barnet, Bexley, and Hillingdon, 3,000 in Brent and Bromley and Richmond. Southwark topped the lot with 8,685 complaints.

Car hitting a pothole on a road.

Hammersmith Road and Wood Lane were the pothole black spots in Hammersmith and Fulham, but only £340 was paid out last year to three drivers who sought compensation.

Kensington and Chelsea paid out to one motorist, but the sum has not been disclosed.

In Westminster, there were three payouts totalling £2,890.

Kensington and Chelsea invested £3.7 million in repairs last year but there is not always a co-relation between spending and complaints. Hammersmith spent less than £900,000, which is far below the average outlay reported by most local authorities.

Complaints about damaged road surfaces increased by 50 per cent compared to the previous year, with some 42,106 calls made in Greater London. A total of £55.5 million was spent on road repairs, also a hike of about 50 per cent compared to 2017/18.

Sue Terpilowski, London Policy chairwoman for the FSB, said the west London authorities had done a good job in prioritising good roads to keep businesses on the move.
“Potholes are a major concern for London’s small businesses,” she said. “Our members rely heavily on the local road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on an efficient road network.

“Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms.

“Potholes are not only a danger to road users, they cause costly repairs, traffic congestion and bottlenecks, leading to consequent disruption to trading.”

She added: “London is already an expensive area to do business with soaring costs.

Measures like more funding for local authorities and improving the coordination between authorities and utility companies, will go some way in helping ease the burden of this ever-growing issue.”

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said the statistics reflected a long-term approach to infrastructure, which included investment in roads to keep surfaces in tip-top condition.

Councillor Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for the Environment, said: “Our approach is to invest in high quality road surfaces and then rigorously monitor their condition.

“We don’t wait for potholes to appear – we have a planned maintenance programme stopping them in their tracks during the early stages of road damage.

“Alongside better roads, this means we potentially save money overall as waiting for pot holes to appear and then fixing them is poor value for money.

“Despite the weather making for one of the most challenging summers in recent history, these results are encouraging. However our target is zero complaints and we are focused on that goal.”

A Hammersmith and Fulham Council spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be recognised as one of the best in London. Because we know how frustrating potholes are for motorists and cyclists. That’s why we have a dedicated team with an emergency van that hunts down potholes.

“We also have a hotspot map and we challenge our contractors on their performance each month, with improvement measures for any failures.”

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