Great Britain

Bradford Council crashes cost insurers£1.3million

More than 1,000 crashes involving council-owned vehicles resulted in the local authority’s insurers paying out more than £1.3 million over six years.

Bradford Council’s fleet of gritters, bin lorries, trucks and vans have been involved in 1,324 crashes on the roads since 2012.

Information released to the Telegraph & Argus under the Freedom of Information Act found the vehicles have crashed into people, homes, walls, cars and properties, with insurers paying out £1,354,749 to cover repair costs.

The most expensive payout came after an accident in July 2014 when a council vehicle hit another vehicle at traffic lights in Otley Road, Baildon.

Insurers paid out £43,985; £13,000 more than the second highest claim in January 2015, which involved a council vehicle crashing into another motorist in Woodhouse Road, Keighley.

The most expensive year came in 2012 when insurance payments totalled £321,956, but costs have dropped since then.

So far in 2018 the crashes have only cost £34,147.

In April 2016, a man was taken to hospital following a two-vehicle crash on a busy Bradford road.

The crash involved a black Mercedes-Benz E220 and a bin lorry, and took place at the junction of Shipley Airedale Road and Barkerend Road.

A 41-year-old driver of the Mercedes was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Another incident involved a gritter overturning and crashing into a wall outside the Guide Inn pub, in Hainworth, between Cullingworth and Keighley, on December 5, 2012.

The insurance pay out for that came to £2,365.

Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, leader of Bradford Council’s Liberal Democrat’s Group, said: “Clearly it’s an issue because whenever something is damaged there’s costs and financial costs, too.

“What worries me is that it’s not been made publicly available and what we should have is a report that goes to a Scrutiny Committee, so they can take this information in and reduce the number of accidents council vehicles are involved in.

“It’s about understanding the risks involved in driving on council business.

“Everytime we make an insurance pay out the premium will go up.

“What we need is a comprehensive look across all of our insurances.”

Previous figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Telegraph & Argus found the biggest single payout for an accident in 2011 was £52,518.

This was handed over in compensation after a council gritter collided with a parked car and injured the people inside.

It was revealed that between 2010 and 2015 there have been 601 accidents involving Council vehicles and a total of £2,458,020 paid out.

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “The amount paid out since 2012 has dropped “markedly”.

He added: “Between 2012 and 2017 there has been a 64 per cent decrease in pay-outs.

“So far this year insurers have paid out £34,147, which in comparison to the £321,956 paid out in 2012 shows that the Council has continuously made significant improvements.

“Drivers of Council vehicles undertake vehicle familiarisation training before being allowed to drive and those who drive large vehicles (HGV/PSV) are also required to undertake annual training on driving and driver related topics.

“Bradford Council has a fleet of over 700 vehicles, some of which are required to be on the road in extremely difficult weather conditions to facilitate services for members of the public, such as emptying refuse bins or gritting roads to minimise the chance of an accident occurring for other road users.

“If a driver is involved in a road traffic accident then the accident is investigated and the findings are used to help decide any appropriate course of action which may be required.

“There are many different causes and varying degrees of traffic accident and Council drivers are often just an innocent party.”

Drivers at fault for crashes can be “supported, refreshed or retrained” by the council to make sure the same mistake is not made twice.

Football news:

Zinedine Zidane: Hames is an important player. I wish him a happy birthday
Atalanta controlled the ball for 8 minutes and 11 seconds before the first goal against Juventus
Jovic will be able to play with Villarreal if the third test for the virus is negative
Hodgson on Zaa threats: He did the right thing when he let people know. There is no excuse for this
Setien on Messi's rest: Of course, he needs it. But the score in the match against Valladolid was too slippery
Immobile – the fans of Lazio: Some people seem to have too short a memory. Leave my family alone
Holand was kicked out of a nightclub in Norway