Dangerous Hamilton footpaths will be urgently repaired after an innovative survey scooter found more than 28,000 faults in more than 1000km of footpaths.

As part of Hamilton's 10-year plan, the budget for footpath renewals was increased from $1.79 million to $4.55 million, a 400 per cent increase.

The increase in funding allowed the infrastructure alliance, a partnership between HCC and construction company Downer, to start a renewal of an additional 30,072sq m of footpath in 2019.

The council was able to use innovative scooters which surveyed every footpath in Hamilton. In the staff report it said "the scooter man has been a value for money investment".

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htw200219sp01 The three-yearly audit of Hamilton's footpaths was done in October using two hi-tech scooters that recorded and rated any faults or defects, including damage caused by tree roots,
htw200219sp01 The three-yearly audit of Hamilton's footpaths was done in October using two hi-tech scooters that recorded and rated any faults or defects, including damage caused by tree roots,

The use of the scooters was more efficient and cost effective, with the audit being completed over a month compared to the four months previously required to walk and inspect the footpath network.

"While the survey method is not as accurate as an inspector on foot, the survey enables a quick snapshot of all the footpath assets and identifies focus areas."

The council categorised damaged footpaths as acceptable, poor, and very poor.

The very poor footpaths will have immediate work done on them, while the poor footpaths would be put on the renewal programme. The acceptable footpaths would be put on a monitoring programme.

At the February full council meeting, councillor James Casson - whose wife Debbie Casson broke her wrist on a damaged footpath - asked whether members of the public should alert council as well to damaged footpaths.

"We certainly do respond quickly to any complaints we do get, and the advantage of doing this is that we are getting out and doing something before people are falling over," Hamilton city council city transportation network operations manager Robyn Denton said.

Councillor Mark Bunting said he was concerned the council was only monitoring the acceptable footpaths, which still had tripping hazards. One example in the report was a path which had a 15mm or less raised hazard on it.

Over 28,000 faults were found in Hamilton's footpaths, with renewal works underway. Photo / Hamilton City Council
Over 28,000 faults were found in Hamilton's footpaths, with renewal works underway. Photo / Hamilton City Council

"Elderly people cannot lift their feet so much, and they can't also see them as well so they tend to trip up," Bunting said.

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Denton said it was difficult to do everything at once but, with the scooter man, they were able to keep an eye on all of the acceptable footpaths.

Councillor Garry Mallett asked whether council would continue to use cobbles, such as at Garden Place, on footpaths from now on.

Denton said the council would be attempting to no longer be use cobble foot pavings, and as part of the programme had started removing the cobble from the Frankton commerce area.