Road defect claims – staffing, numbers and contract

1. How many persons are employed in the DCC unit dealing with messages/complaints/claims arising from road defects in Devon?

We can confirm the available information regarding the employed persons within highways is available online at:

Depending upon the nature of the message, complaint or claim, almost anyone within this team could be involved with dealing with, inspecting or rectifying a defect once a message, complaint or a claim has been raised.

2. Is a/are lawyer/s involved with the claims, either directly paid or ‘out sourced’?

External Solicitors are instructed to deal with litigated and very high value/complex claims

3. What details are required for a successful claim for personal injury/death, tyres, rims, running gear etc?

Details on how to make a claim and what information is required can be found here:

A claim will only be successful where there is clear evidence of negligence or breach of statutory duty on the part of the Council.   If this evidence is not put forward then the claim will fail.

4. How many such claims are made year by year?

This varies but the average over the last 4 years is 521 per year

5. We learn that Skanska, a Scandinavian world wide corporation, succeeded South West Highways in highway maintenance, new surfaces etc. What are the essential features of the contract, including its response to reports of ‘pot holes’?

Skanska won Devon’s Term Maintenance Contract for delivering Routine, Reactive and other Highway Maintenance activities within Devon. As part of the Reactive Service, Skanska are required to respond to Safety Defects within given response times and make them safe with a suitable repair in accordance with the contract specifications. The response time will depend on the verification that the pothole constitutes a Safety Defect (as defined in the Safety Manual) which is then risk rated (which include the category of road) and will normally carry a next working day, 7 day or 28 day response. Skanska are also required to have a 24 hour a day emergency response of 2 hours, but this rarely will apply to potholes

6. When does the contract end?

The Highways Term Maintenance Contract was awarded to Skanska Construction UK Limited for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2024, with extension options to 2027

7. What are the total annual receipts of this company from DCC with or without other income from the Exchequer via Department of Transport?

£32.5 million

8. I know no name of the man from Germany who was pitched of his bike by a pot hole on the road down from Haytor a year ago. Thus no breach of confidentiality. Broken ribs, punctured lung, possible threat to life ) air ambulance to Derriford .I am told 8 days as in-patient. Has he sued DCC?

An anecdote ‘ a very serious one re potholes. A couple from Germany ‘ B&B in Ilsington last year.
Cycling down from the top at Haytor, cool air in the face. He, thrown off at a familiar pothole. Air ambulance to Derriford. Broken ribs punctured a lung. Could have died from a tension pneumothorax ‘ air. Or with an haemothorax ‘ blood. 8 days in Derriford. Suing DCC?

We have interpreted this question to refer to the possibility of specific claims from known individuals.  If this information were known to Devon County Council it would be personal information to the individuals concerned and a public disclosure of any information would be unfair to them and a breach of the first data protection principle.   This information is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to s.40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

9. Is DCC made aware of the cost of injuries caused by deficient road surfaces? Much is logged in the hospitals as to the cause of injuries. Copies to CEOs of RD&E, NDDH, Torbay, and Derriford.

Devon County Council does not hold any information regarding injuries which, at the time of the accident, may have been speculatively considered to have been caused by deficient road surfaces.