More than £1.6m spent on Edinburgh pothole repairs in a year

More than £1.6m was spent on repairing potholes in the last financial year by Edinburgh City Council, it can be revealed.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 10:10 am

Overall, the city spent almost as much on potholes as it did on all other types of road maintenance, including gully cleaning and hard landscaping.

A freedom of information request showed the council spent just over £1.68m on non-pothole related maintenance, and spent £1.62m on potholes and road defect repairs.

Transport and environment convenor, Councillor Lesley MacInnes, said tackling poor and damaged road surfaces is a “real priority” for the council.

Workmen fill in a pothole on Causewayside after it damaged a car tyre.

The figures come as Pothole Pete, the Evening News’ roads champion, continues his crusade against the poor state of the roads in the Capital.

Now consumer champion Scott Dixon is also backing Pothole Pete’s campaign.

Mr Dixon, who runs the Facebook page The Complaints Resolver, said: “Edinburgh City Council have one of the lowest success rates for motorists submitting pothole claims and more potholes per square mile than any other city in the UK.

“Edinburgh City Council’s claim handlers use various mitigating tactics including suggesting that motorists claim on their own insurance as it will be easier and quicker.

“This is a blatant lie to avoid liability and pay-outs.

“Local authorities rely on a statutory defence on claims by stating that they cannot be held responsible for potholes that they are not aware of.

“They also try to discount legitimate claims referred to as accidents because an accident holds nobody liable.

“This is why you need to clearly state that it was a collision when you are submitting a pothole claim. A collision holds someone liable whereas an accident does not.”

Mr Dixon called on road users to make “robust” claims if they suffer damage due to potholes.

He added: “I believe that Edinburgh City Council should be held responsible for the overall neglect and oversight of the city’s roads and infrastructure.

“It is clear to every road user including bus passengers that the roads are in a shocking state and are poorly maintained.

“I therefore encourage every motorist to submit robust claims to do just that and get the compensation they deserve.”

Cllr Lesley Macinnes said repairing road defects was the main focus of road maintenance in the Capital.

She said: “It’s not surprising that around half of our revenue spend focuses on repairing potholes and other damage, as this budget is specifically allocated to maintaining our network of roads and pavements.

“In addition to this, revenue budget is used for a variety of improvements, including gully clearing and hard landscaping.

“Tackling poor and damaged road surfaces is a real priority for the council, and significant investment in the roads network has seen our independently-assessed road condition rating improve to its best since 2011. This is in part thanks to our proactive approach to repairs as well as an increased output in road renewals, as part of our £15m spend in such projects last year.

“Our teams work extremely hard to make sure our streets are safe and usable and as a result the vast majority of defects are made safe as quickly as possible.”

Do you have a pothole you would like Pete to measure? Email [email protected] with the details.