Page last updated at 23:36 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 00:36 UK

Scotland worst for pothole damage

Andy Benny by a pothole
Andy Benny says this pothole in Straiton is seven inches deep

Scotland and northern England have the bumpiest roads in Britain, according to an insurer.

A study of claims for axle or suspension damage found 14% of cars in Ayrshire fell victim to potholes in any given year.

Five of the 10 worst-rated areas were in Scotland while four were in northern England.

Warranty Direct said pothole damage was costing UK drivers £413m a year, or £1.1m each day.

Andy Benny lives in Straiton in Ayrshire.

He told BBC Radio Scotland residents have just had to learn to deal with the potholes - one in particular which was seven inches deep.

He said: "Obviously to steer around it I would have to drive on the opposite side of the road.

"Either that or drive up and down the pavement because there's no way on this earth you can miss it.

"If there's something coming towards you it's 'hey ho, away we go'.

"Now the people in the village know where the potholes are, because they have been here so long. So what we try to do is avoid them."

Within hours of Mr Benny speaking to BBC Scotland, that particular hole had been repaired, but he said there are plenty of others.

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McLure Fisher said there was a clear "north-south divide" in claim rates.

SUSPENSION FAILURE INSURANCE CLAIM RATES
Ayrshire - 14.05% of all cars
Northumberland - 13.84%
Renfrewshire - 13.58%
Angus - 13.36%
County Durham - 13.07%
Aberdeenshire - 11.6%
North Yorkshire - 11.21%
Warwickshire - 10.56%
Lanarkshire - 10.48%
Tyne and Wear - 10.23%

"Either continuous driving over cracked or uneven road surfaces, or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole, can cause damage to shock absorbers, springs, upper and lower arms and stabiliser bars," he said.

"This appears to be happening more in Scotland than anywhere else.

"Whether this is due to colder weather causing more northern roads to crack or just poor maintenance, it seems to underline a clear difference in the condition of highways across the country."

The lowest claim rate was in Oxfordshire where only 4% of cars suffered similar failures.

The average claim for repairs was £240, but some damage cost £2,710 to put right.



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SEE ALSO
Scotland tops pot holes list
07 Apr 09 |  Scotland
Figures reveal pothole pay-outs
27 Mar 08 |  Scotland
Cracked street claims cost 2.8m
03 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Scotland appoints roadworks tsar
30 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Potholes costs increase to 56m
23 Mar 07 |  London

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