Edinburgh roads: Potholes on Craigmillar Castle Road and Jewel roundabout cost man £1,000 in a year

City of Edinburgh Council clarify compensation timescale

An Edinburgh man has revealed his anger and frustration after potholes on the city’s roads cost him nearly £1,000 in the past year for repairs to his car and he was unable to claim compensation from the council.

Ross Hammond from Willowbrae was unable to claim money back from repairs needed on his BMW 520 car after it was damaged in two separate incidents last year in the Capital. In February he hit a number of potholes on Craigmillar Castle Road and had to pay £250 to replace a broken spring. The second incident happened at the end of the year when a pothole at the Jewel roundabout smashed his front left tyre and another spring, costing him £700.

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The 45-year-old was further frustrated when he tried to claim compensation for the repairs in February from the council, who informed him that they don’t pay out for incidents involving potholes on that road that have been reported to them in the past six months. The council has since clarified that each road can have a different timescale for compensation claims, as claim handlers review every case individually and make all decisions relating to the outcome of a public liability claim.

Ross Hammond from Willowbrae, who has had to pay nearly £1,000 in the past year for repairs to his car which was damaged by potholes on Edinburgh's roads.

Ross said: “I didn’t bother contacting the council the second time given what happened in February. The roads in Edinburgh are riddled with potholes. My concern now is that my driving style is now massively erratic. If I see a pothole, after them costing me £1,000, then I’m going to slam on the breaks, and someone behind me is not going to see why I’m breaking and so hit my car.

"As a road user you are constantly at the mercy of potholes, which it seems you can’t get any compensation for. As the six-month rule means the council can avoid giving out compensation. The council can have six months of damage to cars by each pothole before they compensate you for repairs.”

Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener, said: “The council has a robust risk-based approach in place for the maintenance of the city’s roads. All claims received are investigated fully and independently of the council, on a case by case basis, by our claims handling agents. Only where there is a legal liability is compensation paid. I appreciate road defects are an issue for many road users, and conditions have been exacerbated by recent prolonged weather, and we recently redirected additional resources to address this. On Craigmillar Castle Road, we’ll be carrying out patching works at the end of next month to improve the road surface.

“I would urge people to drive safely under all circumstances to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.

“If people spot a pothole they should report it to the council. We aim to inspect reports as quickly as possible and target an inspection withing five working days and categorise and prioritise our defects to ensure that the worst potholes are actioned first. It’s essential that we direct limited resources where needed, so our roads continue to be usable and safe. I acknowledge that road maintenance in Edinburgh is underfunded, and I hope to work with other political parties to address this in the coming budget.”