Potholes situation worsens

Pot Holes on border roads.
Pot Holes on border roads.

A LOCAL Borders driver is waiting to see if Scottish Borders Council will agree to stump up £900 to cover the bill for damage caused to his car by potholes on roads.

John Peters, from Eyemouth, is just one of a growing number of motorists fed up with the level of damage an increasing number of potholes in the region is causing to their vehicles, mainly in the form of punctured tyres and damaged alloy wheels.

Cll. Rory Stewart.

Cll. Rory Stewart.

Recent periods of bad weather has seen more deterioration in road surfaces in certain parts of the region.

Mr Peters says he had to replace an alloy wheel, a tyre that was only two weeks old and actually had to join the AA to ‘rescue’ him and his car as a result of potholes experienced during his daily commute to Jedburgh.

“Coupled with having to take holidays, running up and down to Edinburgh to collect spares, etc., I’m out of pocket to the tune of some £900,” he told TheSouthern. “I’m told by SBC my claim has been passed to their insurance company, so I will wait and see what happens.

“If people report such road problems rather than simply moan about them online or otherwise, this puts more pressure on the council to fix things.

Cll.  Jim Brown

Cll. Jim Brown

“The website Fixmystreet.com is really good as they pass the information on to the council concerned and they have a better logging system where you can see all reported problems.”

And Mr Peters, whose car is fitted with the ‘Road Hawk’ video camera system which records causes of vibration and bumps from road surfaces, including potholes, believes the state of local roads could have another less immediately visible impact.

He said: “There is another downside as regards the state of the roads. I think they are in such a serious condition now that this could discourage people to visit other towns for shopping.

“Who will travel to Berwick from the Borders when faced with a bone-crunching high-risk journey via the A698 or the B6350, which is a nightmare to travel on?

“I changed my route and now use the A698 when travelling daily from Eyemouth to Jedburgh,” said Mr Peters, who is employed at the L S Starrett factory in Jedburgh.

And the burgh’s councillors have also been campaigning to get something done about the state of roads within the town.

Rory Stewart (Ind) and Jim Brown (SNP) met with local authority officers earlier this week to discuss the state of roads in Jedburgh, particularly the Oxnam Road.

And Mr Stewart claims SBC officers have agreed to look at the scoring system that the local authority uses for grading the priorities on these issues.

“The Jethart councillors are continuing to place pressure on SBC to repair the issues on Oxnam Road,” he said.

“Like all other road users I am frustrated by the deterioration of our road network and will continue to work on constituents’ behalf.”

Mr Brown (SNP) added: “We are awaiting major patching work to begin on the section of road from the A68 up to Starrett’s and are really very frustrated that this may be held up due to the legal wrangle over the subsidence problem.”

As far as Mr Peters’ compensation claim was concerned, SBC said it could not comment.

“This year’s severe weather - with heavy rainfall, freezing conditions and more recently snow - has inevitably caused damaged to the Borders’ roads,” said a council spokesperson.

“Potholes which are considered to provide a clear safety hazard to road users are classed as category one defects.

“Repairing these potholes is about making the road safe again. This is a reactive short term repair with potholes being treated quickly as they are identified.

“Permanent patching is undertaken on a planned basis, and involves saw cutting around edges, removal of damaged material down to a sound base foundation and replacement with hot bituminous material, with joints sealed with bitumen. This is a long term permanent repair with the majority of work being undertaken in the better summer weather.”