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Council vehicle accident claims reach £181,000 in just three years in South Tyneside

Bin lorries are involved in most accidents
Bin lorries are involved in most accidents

Crashes, shunts and bumps involving South Tyneside Council vehicles have racked up £181,000 worth of insurance payments in three years, new figures have revealed.

Nearly 200 accidents have been recorded in that time – an average of more than one a week – with 12 incidents in one week alone in April 2015.

Out of the 190 claims lodged between 2015/16 and 2017/18, around 42% of cases were closed (79), 10%, or 19, remained open and 48% were settled (92).

The total damage bill was £181,810

The data is the result of a Freedom of Information Request on road accident claims involving council-owned or operated vehicles.

The most common accidents included council vehicles crashing into vehicles or private property - with a total of 15 injuries recorded.

The data confirms there were no fatalities linked to crashes over the three-year period.

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “Every claim we receive is investigated thoroughly in order to establish if a failure has occurred and whether lessons can be learnt.

“The council only settles claims where liability has been established.

“We continue to monitor and manage the risk of accidents across the borough to help us reduce these figures further.”

The highest payout - £13,043 - involved a bin wagon crash which involving two other vehicles and caused two injuries.

The majority of payouts were also linked to the same department - followed by street cleaning, property services and incidents in the fleet’s workshop.

South Tyneside Council currently owns and operates 361 vehicles across the borough.

In 2015/16 the total number of claims was 68.

There were two injuries and payouts totalled £52,117

Largest payout was £4,755 when a parking services and traffic regulation department vehicle hit another vehicle and caused damage on A183, Sea Road, South Shields.

In 2016/17 the total number of claims was 69.

These resulted in nine injuries and payouts totalling £91,385.

Largest payout was £13,043 when a waste and recycling and collections vehicle hit the rear of another vehicle - shunting it into another vehicle in front. Two people were injured.

In 2017/18 the total number of claims was 53.

These resulted in four injuries and a total payout of £38,308. The largest payout was £8,466 when a property services department vehicle skidded into rear of another vehicle in Tunstall Avenue, South Shields.