And finally…losing the pot

A new money saving scheme designed by Perth and Kinross Council has seen the local authority change the definition of a pothole so that it does not have to repair so many.

The Scotsman newspaper reports that PKC has declared potholes must now be more than 59mm deep – 50 per cent more than previously – before it considers filling them.

The announcement comes after the council admitted last month that the road network has been severely affected by prolonged wet weather and subsequent freezing temperatures and thaws.

When setting its budget for 2016-17 the authority agreed not to fill a hole until it reaches a depth of 60mm in the hope it can save £120,000. The previous minimum depth was 40mm.

The decision has caused anger among road users who fear the potholes will only deteriorate over time, leaving a bigger hazard to be dealt with in the future.

Kinross-shire Liberal Democrat Willie Robertson said: “The anticipated ‘saving’ from this idea is given… as £120k.

“As a cyclist I know that damaged road drains are a real danger. Often you can’t avoid them because of traffic passing you.

“I am also aware of a few people locally who have damaged their cars on potholes recently. I wonder what the cost will ultimately be when people claim for compensation from the council for the cost of repairing their vehicles.”

A recent report revealed Scottish councils spent around £1,400 a day on pothole compensation claims. Perth and Kinross Council paid out more than £80,000 over a five-year period.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Committing to only fixing larger potholes is a false economy. The larger a pothole becomes, the greater risk it represents to road users and the more costly it becomes to repair.”

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