Bad drivers have been costing Milton Keynes Council a small fortune by bashing into and destroying bollards and other street signs.
But the days of them getting away with it scott free have gone as there is now a dedicated officer who has been chasing insurance companies to recover the £400,000 cost of the damage.
And insurance companies aren’t just paying for the cost of expensive signs, but also for the costs of replacing them, which might have to include all the health and safety steps of having workers protected as they do their jobs in the highway.
“Unfortunately one thing that people in Milton Keynes don’t seem to be able to do is drive very well because they do tend to knock a lot of them (bollards) over,” Andy Dickinson, the council’s highways client service manager said.
Speaking to a Parishes Forum meeting at the council on March 14, Mr Dickinson added that the highways contractor, Ringway, is taking action to recover the costs of the damage.
“But one thing we do now is we have a very pro-active approach to third party damage and we have recovered, certainly in the last probably around about 12 or 12 months, is £400,000 which we are re-investing.”
Parish council members said there seemed to be an issue on the V11 Tongwell Street where there are “numerous, one after another keep left signs that have been out of action for 12 months”.
Parishes Forum meetings are held regularly to bring parish councillors together to air their grievances with the borough powers-that-be.
Highways and transport issues were aired and Mr Dickinson used the opportunity to explain how he was keen to receive reports of highways problems, including missing and damaged road signs, potholes and other road issues.
He explained that he already had a list of 46 road signs to replace when new money becomes available in the 2019-20 budget. In the meantime he welcomed parish councils to add to his lists.