Liberal Democrats were shocked to discover that pedestrians who fall and injure themselves on pavements are ignored in Herts County Council’s
statistics.

Liberal Democrat county councillor Malcolm Cowan was shocked to be told, while working on an update to a county council report, that the only figures kept for ‘trips and slips’ on the footpath are those from residents suing the council for their injuries.

The vast majority of cases, where the person goes to hospital or to the GP, do not feature, because no recording takes place. Councillor Cowan said:

It just shows how much pedestrians are ignored – every accident in the road that causes any personal injury is recorded. This helps show where improvements to the road may be needed. Yet exactly the same injury to a pedestrian caused by tripping over an uneven pavement, is ignored unless they sue. So there is no pressure to fix the poor pavements. And we know only 14% of footpaths are checked.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Environment said:

The Conservatives who run the county council have refused to start collecting the number of falls, saying it is too expensive, even though they admitted they didn’t know how much it would cost.

We also discovered that last year, county spending on footpath repairs fell by 40% over the previous year. What an appalling double whammy for those who walk.