Councils paying price for potholes

Councils paying price for potholes

Scottish councils are spending more than £1,600 a day compensating drivers whose cars have been damaged by potholes.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives show that motorists were reimbursed £584,745 in 2012/13, taking the five-year total over £2.7 million.

But while some local authorities are forking out thousands of pounds on repairs, such as suspension damage and burst tyres, others are not paying a penny.

Glasgow, for instance, paid out nearly £360,000 in compensation, by far the highest amount in Scotland.

Aberdeenshire was forced to settle £34,000 worth of claims, and the figure in Edinburgh was more than £27,000.

Others, however, like Clackmannanshire and Moray, did not have to pay any compensation to drivers.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "It's appalling that Scottish motorists are having to drive on such poor roads. If maintenance budgets continue to be cut year on year then this is sadly just the tip of the iceberg because roads will get worse and worse.

"It's right motorists should be compensated for the damage their vehicles suffer because of potholes, but wouldn't it be far simpler for the authorities to look after the roads properly in the first place rather than having to pay out so much in compensation.

"What's more, this figure probably doesn't show the full picture as many motorists whose cars have suffered pothole damage won't be aware they can claim compensation."

For advice on reporting potholes and finding out how to seek compensation, .

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone MSP described the state of the roads across the country as a "real concern" for motorists.

"We need to make sure surfaces are kept in good condition because investment in that would very much reduce the cash paid out in future," he said.

"The true damage caused by potholes is likely to be far higher than this because many drivers can't face going through the official channels to try and recoup the money paid for repairs."

Copyright Press Association 2014