New personal injury claims are made against Edinburgh City Council at a rate of one a day for pothole-related damage occurring in the city. Last year, claims rose by 71 per cent to a total of 379, though the city council attributed the rise to issues caused by 2011’s severe winter weather, with transport chiefs also insisting that road network investment has also increased in Edinburgh.
However, motoring groups and opposition politicians wasted no time in pointing to the research results as proof positive that the state of Edinburgh’s streets were deteriorating. An Association of British Drivers spokesman, Nigel Humphries, remarked that if the city council would spend less time on placing obstructions in the way of motorists and more on maintaining Edinburgh’s infrastructure, the problem would not be anywhere near as pronounced.
Mr Humphries expressed little surprise that Edinburgh drivers were pursuing claims in light of the attitude of the council, which he said was much more concerned with squeezing every last pound from motorists through things like tickets and parking fines. Drivers have an expectation that their roads will be clear, which then leads to justified anger if they drop into a pothole while driving, resulting in damage that would have never occurred if these same roads were maintained properly, the spokesman added.
While Mr Humphries did take severe winter weather into account by saying that this will make matters worse, he was still highly critical of a council that, in his words had ‘plenty to spend’ on obstructions such as road humps, yet neglect to repair the city’s potholes.