A hole lot of trouble caused by potholes

A second motorist has hit out at the council for the state of the roads after it denied liability for damage to her car by a pothole on the A886.

Fay hit a pothole on February 13 this year on the A886 not far before the turning to Dunoon.
Fay hit a pothole on February 13 this year on the A886 not far before the turning to Dunoon.

Social worker Fay Woolnough (54) from Rothesay, was on her way to an appointment on February 13 when she claims her car hit a pothole on the road at Fearnoch and blew a tyre.

This incident occurred three days after a Glasgow taxi driver claimed a pothole on the same stretch of road caused a hole in his tyre. As previously reported in the Buteman, Norrie Rae (64) attempted to sue Argyll & Bute Council after it refused to compensate him because the road had been inspected on October 25, 2017.

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Fay has been told the same thing by the local authority, which has now started resurfacing this stretch of road.

The pothole.

She said: “I got the ferry to Colintraive and I was heading north to Strachar and was 100 yards or so before the turning to Dunoon when I hit a pothole. My tyre immediately deflated and I had a long wait to be towed back to Bute.

“I put in a claim, took photographs, spoke to the right department at the council – all while waiting in the car.

“I took a lot of photographs. I got evidence of the work carried out by the garage to replace the tyre, and that it was a result of the pothole.

“I provided them with full evidence that had I not hit the pothole the tyre would not have been damaged.

“They said they have a duty of care to public roads and keep them to a safe standard. They say roads don’t have to be perfect but surely they should be safe?

“Just like your previous story they said tests had been carried out on the road. But since then there have been severe winter conditions.”

Fay is adamant the council is liable for the damage to her car, but she is just relieved that the pothole didn’t cause more damage to her car, or indeed her.

She said: “The stretch of road on which I hit the pothole was repaired within about a week of my incident. I thought that was very quick.

“My understanding is that if the stretch of road had been reported on February 10, as the gentleman said he did, and they didn’t act on it. They would then be liable for damage to someone else who then had damage caused by the road.

“I don’t know if it’s the exact same pothole, but it looks like the same general area.

“If the pothole incident on the 10th was reported to the council, I don’t see how the council can say they didn’t know about the problem when I hit a pothole on the 13th.

“It was in a pretty bad state. I think many other people travelling along there would have had issues also.

“I think I was quite lucky. The suspension survived. I was fortunate really.”

Fay feels let down by the council. She said: “I’m quite disappointed. I feel that the council is liable for this damage to my car. The last letter from them was sent on May 17. In which they are denying all liability. I’m very annoyed.

“They explained their decision is on the basis that this stretch of road was inspected on October 25, 2017 and road users have no right to expect roads to be in perfect condition at all times.

“All I was after was the costs of around £125 I had to pay the garage to fit a replacement tyre. I kept the receipt.

“I’m surprised that they weren’t aware of potholes there. And I have some disappointment about the whole situation. I also feel that there must have been other incidents there, on top of mine and the taxi driver’s.”

After speaking to Fay, taxi driver Norrie Rae said: “She has definitely hit the same set of potholes in the exact same place as me. The council cannot use the excuse that nobody had previously reported it to them.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman refused to comment on individual cases, but added that resurfacing work on this particular stretch of road will be completed by the end of July.