Pot­hole claims on the in­crease

Com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments bill up 47 per cent

The Galloway News - - INTIMATIONS - Stu­art Gille­spie

Dum­fries and Gal­loway Coun­cil has the sec­ond high­est num­ber of com­pen­sa­tion claims for dam­age caused by pot­holes in Scot­land.

Nearly 500 claims were made dur­ing 2013/14, up from 301 the year be­fore, although less than a quar­ter were suc­cess­ful.

But the coun­cil say the num­ber is only as high as the re­gion has the third long­est road net­work in the coun­try.

Ste­wartry coun­cil­lor Colin Wyper was sur­prised that the re­gion came sec­ond only to Glas­gow City Coun­cil for pot­hole com­pen­sa­tion claims.

He said: “I think the coun­cil is be­gin­ning to win the bat­tle. It took them a long time to get any­thing done but in the last six months I’ve no­ticed a lot of re­pairs be­ing done.

“I’m the last per­son to stand up for the coun­cil if they’re not do­ing some­thing I think they should be but when I drive up to Ayr­shire it’s no­tice­ably worse once you get out of Dum­fries and Gal­loway.”

Mr Wyper added he was con­cerned about the state of the A75 near Bridge of Dee, although this is a road that Scot­land TranServ has re­spon­si­bil­ity for.

Fig­ures ob­tained by the RAC Foun­da­tion un­der a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest show that there were 474 claims dur­ing 2013/14, of which 110, to date, were suc­cess­ful.

The coun­cil’s in­sur­ers paid out £26,849.85 in com­pen­sa­tion, up from £18,258.16 the year be­fore.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “It’s im­por­tant to note that Dum­fries and Gal­loway has the third long­est roads net­work in Scot­land, with 4,151km of roads to main­tain. That is almost five times that of Ren­frew­shire and 2.3 times that of Glas­gow.

“A ser­vice-wide re­view of road main­te­nance op­er­a­tions started in 2012 to change our work­ing meth­ods for car­riage­way re­pairs to a first time per­ma­nent ba­sis wher­ever pos­si­ble.

“This new ap­proach, com­bined with in­vest­ment in train­ing, plant and equip­ment and sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in road sur­fac­ing, has re­sulted in bet­ter re­pairs and a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of de­fects on our roads. A com­plete survey of our lo­cal road net­work in Novem­ber 2013 found 4,500 de­fects. By Novem­ber 2014 this fig­ure was down to 1,437 de­fects.”

He added: “The con­di­tion of our roads is highly de­pen­dent on pre­vail­ing weather con­di­tions.

“Dum­fries and Gal­loway has re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced ex­treme weather with high winds and pro­longed pe­ri­ods of heavy rain, ham­per­ing our pot­holes re­pairs pro­gramme and caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant fur­ther dam­age to road sur­faces.

“We’re now deal­ing with pot­holes across the re­gion on a pri­or­ity ba­sis.”

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