Brian Whittle is concerned for drivers on the A77 whose cars are damaged by potholes or other road defects might be getting a raw deal.
The South Scotland MSP is calling for a review of the system after he obtained figures showing that Scotland Transerve, who manage the route on behalf of Transport Scotland, end up refusing the vast majority of claims.
MSP Brian, who is campaigning for improvements to the A77, decided to look into the figures after several constituents came to him looking for help when their initial claims for damage were rejected.
According to the figures, since 2013, there have been 336 claims for damages and 281 have been rejected. Every year, more than two thirds of claims have been turned down and, in several years, the rejection rate has been as high as 90%.
Under the current system, drivers who burst a tyre or experience other damage due to the condition of the road can apply to Scotland Transerve for compensation. Now, Brian plans to write to the Scottish Government to ask whether it’s fair that the company is both defendant and judge.
Brian Whittle said:
“I don’t think anyone would expect that every claim for compensation be approved but these kind of rejection rates seem surprisingly high to me. From my experiences with constituents, I know that claiming successfully can be a challenge.
While Scotland Transerve must be allowed to defend themselves against claims, I’m not sure it’s appropriate that they have the final decision on payment too.
I’ll be writing to the Transport Secretary to ask whether he would support greater use of independent arbitration for damages claims by drivers on all of Scotland’s trunk roads, including the A77.”