Pothole claims on the increase
Compensation payments bill up 47 per cent
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.”