Shire paid out £200,000 in compensation

Peter Chapman says the shocking state of our roads is costing local councils a fortune in payouts to drivers.
Peter Chapman says the shocking state of our roads is costing local councils a fortune in payouts to drivers.

Councils across the north of Scotland have forked out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation n the last ten years to cover damage to vehicles caused by potholes.

In Aberdeenshire alone, nearly £200,000 has been paid out to motorists, while in Aberdeen City, the figure is nearly £100,000. The total reported for all council areas was £4.59million but the true figure will be higher as statistics for some years were not provided.

The figures were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives using freedom of information legislation.

It follows a pledge from the party last week to invest £100million over the course of the next parliament into a pothole fund to help councils address our crumbling roads network.

A report from local government umbrella body Cosla from February showed that funding to maintain Scotland’s roads has been cut by a fifth over the last seven years. Total spend dropped from £691m in 2010/11 to £554m last year.

MSP for the north-east region, Peter Chapman, said: “The shocking state of our roads is costing local councils a fortune in payouts to drivers.

“The vast majority of this is entirely avoidable, however. The road network wasn’t always in such a terrible state and these claims would be much lower if maintenance was kept up.

“A large part of the responsibility for this must be placed at the door of the SNP government in Edinburgh for failing to provide adequate funding for our councils.

“Given cuts this year and more to come in the future, it is difficult to see how this problem can be rectified by our local authorities alone.

“It will require intervention by government. That’s why the Scottish Conservatives have pledged that we would invest £100million in a pothole fund.

“The SNP has neglected the roads network in the north of Scotland and the results are obvious for all to see. Fixing our roads will mean and faster travel across the country without the enormous bill for our hard-pressed local councils.”