Pothole plague takes its toll on Scottish Borders Council

Scottish Borders Council has spent an eye-watering £9.6million on road repairs as ‘pothole plague’ takes its toll, legal experts have revealed.
Road users are being exposed to 'serious danger'.Road users are being exposed to 'serious danger'.
Road users are being exposed to 'serious danger'.

​With councils strapped for cash, road users are being exposed to “serious danger”.

As councils now face a major financial crisis with a £4bn funding gap estimated in the next two years, some authorities are facing a budget black hole folking out huge amounts in maintenance repairs.

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The findings are a result of FOI requests submitted to all UK councils. Out of all responses received, Borders Council has spent millions more on fixing potholes than any other authority

Between 2020/21, the council spent £2,504,308, followed by £3,273,217 between 2021/22 and £3,822,568 between 2022/23.

The total amounts to a whopping £9,600,093 in the last three years.

LegalExpert also revealed that SBC has paid out a total of £17,389.53 in compensation claims relating to vehicle damage caused by potholes since 2022.

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When asked about the current number of outstanding potholes, the Council said the data is not stored in an “accessible manner” and that they are developing a new digital Asset Management System.

Potholes left unrepaired pose a “serious danger” to all road users, according to the RAC.

The automotive company revealed it attended a record number of pothole-hole-related repairs in 2023 - the highest recorded figures in seven years between October and December.

Services were required for 30,000 pothole incidents - equating to 80 breakdowns a day – for faults including broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels.

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What’s more, the problem is likely to get worse as we head into ‘pothole season’ between January and March.

RAC head of policy, Simon Williams said: “Local councils have been cash-strapped for years due to lower road maintenance budgets, causing roads across the country to fall into disrepair and leaving drivers fighting for compensation when their vehicles are inevitably damaged.”

LegalExpert.co.uk offers support and advice for anyone who has suffered injuries or damages caused by potholes. They operate a 24-hour helpline and web chat service.