At the last meeting one of our members said “are we not making enough fuss about the state of the roads in the town?” Well not a lot was said, other than how many times do you report something?
You don’t have to be a driver to notice the state of some of our streets. The potholes are getting bigger everyday – are they breeding? The council say the weather is to blame but I am sure cut backs in maintenance and repair hasn’t helped. Our region has the third largest road network in Scotland, so it is not an easy task to keep every road in pristine condition. With nearly 500 claims in 2013/14 a quarter of them were successful. This cost £27k to the insurers and it is still a major problem. Nationally the figures are tremendous for these repairs; drivers are having to fork out for making garage owners happy and rich. Indeed across the UK, local authorities have estimated to have paid out £24 million to motorists for damage caused by poorly maintained roads. In the past week I have heard of someone needing to replace the front suspension spring due to a pothole in North Street. I am sure there will be many more drivers in the same position.
To be fair, Dumfries and Galloway does have a Report a Pothole/Road Defect form online for anyone to use and a Facebook page for reporting these menaces of the road. But a word of caution only a quarter of all claims are successful so don’t think the Council will pay for your bad luck. There is no automatic right to compensation as legal liability has to be established.
What is to be done? Drive more carefully? Try and avoid them? Come on council, get them fixed!