ONLY FOUR claims made against Fife Council last year for pothole damage were successful.

A Freedom of Information request submitted on behalf of local MSP Alex Rowley shows that out of 367 claims, only 1.09 per cent were successful.

The average pay-out to motorists who occurred damage from potholes was £73.38; this is compared to the £293.50 average pay-out in 2019.

Between September 1 and December 31 2020, there were 2,876 potholes in need of repair with 1,757 of them completed.

A total of 4,012 potholes were logged for repair from January 1 to August 31 and, as of February 8 this year, a total of 1,119 potholes are in need of repair.

Information on pothole repairs between January 1 and August 31 is not available due to the council's migration to a new system.

Fife Council also do not hold the total cost of pothole repairs in 2020.

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley believes that insurers are doing "all they can to avoid paying up"

He stated: "I believe given the state of the roads across Fife we need a focussed action to address it and that should mean increasing the numbers of employees and if necessary Fife Council should be making the case to the government.

"The fact that last year there was 367 claims made against the council for pothole damage but only four that were successful demonstrates what constituents tell me. That is that the insurers do all they can to avoid paying up.

"These kinds of roads can do serious damage to a car and if the person's own insurance either does not cover or will not pay out them people are left with damaged cars and no cover to repair.

"It is also why I continue to urge people to report all pot holes and road defects to ensure the council are aware of them and cannot use that as a reason to refuse to pay compensation.

"I am also concerned that the council state they do not know how much money they spent on pot holes repairs last year or indeed how many were repaired.

"Our roads are in an awful mess and we need a clear plan to get them fixed from Fife Council and that plan should be costed so we have an idea of the costs versus the level of finance available."

Convener of Fife Council's Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation sub-committee Altany Craik commented that poor weather and coronavirus restrictions have played a significant part in the condition of the Kingdom's roads in the past year.

He stated: "Our roads aren’t in the condition we would like due to weather and the restrictions over the last year.

"The need to improve the situation is pressing and that is why we have committed to increase spending on roads maintenance and repair by £2 million in each of the next two years.

"We will be working hard to deliver the standard of roads our residents deserve, and continually improve their condition over the next 10 years."