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Drivers pay the pothole penalty

Potholes are a pain

POTHOLES are a danger to road safety and often hit drivers in the pocket when they burst tyres, buckle wheels and damage suspension. And now there are mounting complaints about how difficult it is to get compensation. Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has hit out after a Freedom of Information request highlighted that astonishingly low number of motorists are successful in pothole claims on the A75 and A77 trunk roads. From 2016 onwards, only three drivers have been successful out of a total of 85 drivers who submitted claims on the A75, including none of the seven who pushed for compensation this year so far. The A77 has seen a much higher rate of compensation claims with a total of 265, yet only 21 drivers were successful including only four in 2018 when 135 motorists submitted claims. Mr Carson says these figures highlighted the continued deterioration of the trunk roads in the south-west after a chronic lack of investment. He has also written to SNP Transport Secretary Michael Matheson who had told Mr Carson last August that he would be instructing Transport Scotland to be more transparent over their claims process, but that has failed to materialise. Mr Carson says motorists are continuing to be hammered through no fault of their own and says the SNP government must commit to a full plan for major investment on the trunk routes to make them fit for purpose. Thousands of people in Wigtownshire last year signed a petition demanded better maintenance on the area's two key traffic routes Mr Carson added: “While these figures are hardly unsurprising, they are still shocking and sum up the chronic lack of investment in our region's major trunk roads by the SNP Government. “For so few motorists to be successful in their claims when they have been damaged by potholes through no fault of their own shows a system that is completely failing. “The SNP's Transport Secretary promised me almost a year ago that there would be greater transparency on the appeals process but this appears to not have happened. “The A75 and the A77 are absolutely vital for the local economy but have been allowed to deteriorate under the SNP Government who have never come up with a proper upgrading and investment plan for the routes. “Too many motorists are at risk when they travel on these roads which are simply not fit for purpose and are left out of pocket. “This situation cannot continue and the SNP's Transport Secretary must urgently intervene when it comes to not only the state of these roads but as to why motorists are overwhelmingly failing in their compensation claims.”

<< back Published: 01 Aug 2020, 13:08

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