Feb 20 2013 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
The state of Monklands’ roads has come under fire from angry motorists claiming the area is rife with potholes.
It seems few parts of the district are immune to the problem, with South Circular Road in Coatbridge and Airdrie’s Craigneuk Avenue among the “black-spots” highlighted more than once.
And during these financially difficult times, where the last thing drivers need to add to the already significant cost of keeping a car is to have it damaged by holes in the road, the Advertiser has learned of compensation claims being knocked back by the council.
One such example came when Airdrie man Paul Mills hit a pothole on Sikeside Street in Coatbridge just before Christmas.
Paul described the damage caused and the response he received from the council.
He said: “I damaged two tyres and cracked an alloy wheel.
“I then contacted North Lanarkshire Council and was asked to complete a claims form for the £400 worth of damage caused, which was subsequently rejected. The grounds for rejection were that the road had an annual inspection on August 20, 2012, and was found to be fine.
“What I’d like to know is, does this mean the road will be classed as ‘fine’ until this August no matter what state it’s in?
“This demonstrates that sufficiently regular inspection has not been carried out to ensure the safety of the road.”
Another similar tale of pothole woe came from former Airdrieonians footballer Willie McGuire.
Willie’s car slammed into a hole near Calderbank football park at the start of the year – and if not for Willie’s selflessness, more accidents could have followed.
He said: “I took the bother of calling the police and got out of my car to try and stop other motorists hitting the hole, but cars were lined up.
“It was really dangerous as the hole was very deep and I was happy to do some good and maybe prevent more damage to other cars.”
Despite the damages to Willie’s car only coming to £85, like Paul, he was met with short shrift by the council when claiming compensation.
He said: “I needed a new tyre and the wheel rim buckled. This was my first ever claim for damages so it’s not as if I have bothered anyone before.
“But the council said they weren’t liable as they had the hole fixed by 9.45am the next day and didn’t get the phone call I put in at 5.32pm until 8.45am, I’m assuming because they had closed for business for the day.
“They also said the road was inspected on December 12, 2012, and was clear.”
Willie was left very unsatisfied by the whole experience.
He said: “I felt not getting compensation for the damage wasn’t right, especially when I wasn’t asking for much.
“I have still got a lot of anger festering about the situation and the roads in Monklands have to be in better condition.”
North Lanarkshire Council defended their stance on compensation claims and called for people to help them highlight potholes throughout Monklands.
A council spokesperson said: “Any claim for compensation is fully investigated on its merits.
“However, it must be shown that the council was negligent in its actions in order for a claim to succeed.
“Anyone who has a claim refused has the opportunity to request a review of that decision, following a written request.
“The council carries out regular safety inspections of our roads network and a continual programme of maintenance.
“However, we encourage members of the public to report any faults to our customer contact centre on 01698 403110.”
Readers can let us know what they think about the condition of Monklands’ roads by emailing email@example.com