Readers have hit out at claims by a self-employed courier that he could lose earnings of £1,700 a week after being forced to stay off work because he rolled his ankle on a pothole.
Paul Fowler is seeking legal advice after suffering ligament damage while stepping out of his van and into a seven-centimetre deep pothole while on a routine delivery in Edinburgh’s Drum Brae.
He said he “nearly passed out” from the “tremendous pain” he experienced through the injury.
The 42-year-old says he expects to lose out on around £1,700 a week as a result of the incident which has left him unable to work over the busy Christmas period.
Higher parcel demand over the Christmas period means the potential for couriers to earn more than at other times of the year, as they are paid for each parcel they deliver.
It comes as the city council pledged to step up work to tackle the Capital’s crumbling roads after an outcry over more than £8 million of its near-£20 million road maintenance budget being unspent. The council says it plans to recruit 10 more road maintenance workers for repairs and small re-surfacing schemes.
Mr Fowler says he is “worried” about providing for his 13-year-old daughter over the holidays, claiming he could lose between £3,000 and £4,000 and will still have to pay to rent the van.
But some Evening News readers queried whether earning £1,700 a week was actually possible, even in the busy run-up to Christmas.
Reader Steve Carruthers wrote: “£1700 a week? It’s Christmas no the 1st of April.”
Another, Craig Fraser, said: “1700 a week delivering parcels for DPD (Direct Parcel Distribution).... alright then.”
However, Gary Stewart claimed it is possible to earn this much, stating: “Some of the drivers are on £2.40 a parcel and they deliver 100 or more a day. My mate’s making 1500 a week. I have been doing a few shifts for him. Giving me £100 cash n hand a day.”
Graeme Foley said: “Postal strike imminent! Joking aside, no matter what this guy earns if cyclists get compensation for potholes/tram tracks so should a pedestrian.”
Another reader, Fran Good, suggested that Mr Fowler should have bought adequate insurance cover, adding: “Also, plenty of folk manage to have a good Christmas on meagre finances. Got too materialistic. Heard of cut your coat to suit your cloth?”
Lorraine Blyth, said: “Pot holes in the road are quite irrelevant.
“This chap obviously didn’t check the road before he got out his (rented) van. And just as obviously he, like so many other self employed, has not got the correct or adequate insurance. If he did then he’d be treating this as the minor accident it so obviously is. In this day and age being self employed doesn’t mean you can pocket every penny you earn. You are, quite rightly expected to plan for the future. Insurance, holidays, retirement.”
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