Pothole problems on the rise

Potholed roads in Midlothian - George Drive, Loanhead.
Potholed roads in Midlothian - George Drive, Loanhead.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Conservatives has revealed that from 2013 to 2016 there were 121 vehicles damaged because of potholes in Midlothian, with an overall repair bill of £3570.

Worryingly reported pothole incidents are increasing in the county. In 2013/14 28 incidents were reported. The following financial year, 2014/15, 21 incidents reported. And in the last year, 2015/16, there were 72 incidents.

South Scotland list MSP Rachael Hamilton (Conservative), said: “Potholes are a plague to our roads and this FOI reveals the damage they can cause. Not only is there a financial cost, but also a cost to the person affected, be it through being unable to work because of the injury, time lost to having their vehicle repaired, and, of course, the trauma the incident caused.

“The increase of vehicle incidents comes at a time when roads in Midlothian have worsened.

“The damages to vehicles and persons is a reminder of the importance to fill these potholes in – one way to ensure this is done quickly and effectively is to introduce a pot hole fund – something my party has long campaigned for.”

Between 2013 and 2016 there were 25 personal injuries caused by potholes.

This FOI comes after an Audit Scotland Report revealed that the roads in Midlothian have declined from 2011/12 to 2015/15 by two per cent.

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Like all Scottish councils, Midlothian continues to face severe financial constraints.

“We have endeavoured to keep the road maintenance budget to realistic levels to ensure that we have a safe road network for all road users.

“Claims are not always successful. The amount of compensation paid out to drivers still remains very low.

“This is due to a robust safety inspection regime and being able to react quickly to repair dangerous potholes when they’re brought to our attention.”