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‘Death trap’ pothole warning

FEARS and concerns over a gigantic pothole near Annan have been raised with the council after it claimed the wheels of yet more vehicles in the past week

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By Zac Hannay
Annan and Eskdale
‘Death trap’ pothole warning
HOLE FROM HELL . . . Chico Somerville at the scene of the pothole

The crater, just past Howes Scaur on the B721 heading towards the A75, has been dubbed an ‘accident waiting to happen’ by Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell.

And one driver who suffered damage to their vehicle earlier this week recounted their experience to the Annandale series.

Chico Somerville, from Lochmaben, was leaving Annan on Monday to return home in the spring sun. But the leisurely drive turned into a frightening ordeal when his van struck the pothole.

Chico said: “I was driving out of Annan with my daughter and grandson in lovely sunshine. You couldn’t see anything at all.

“You would be lucky if I was doing 40mph.

“Next thing I knew, bang! The hole was about nine inches deep.

“It happened that quickly. It was absolutely frightening.”

The front tyre on the passenger side was completely blown and the wheel was also badly buckled. Luckily Chico was carrying a spare, but the damage has come at a cost.

He added: “It’s cost me £113 for a tyre and a second hand wheel.

“My daughter phoned up the council, all they said was it was reported on Saturday. Somebody could end up getting killed.”

After residing in Dumfries and Galloway for his entire life, the 66-year-old has never seen the region’s roads in such a mess.

Chico said: “It is absolutely terrible. You can speak to anyone who drives and they all say the same thing.

“If you go from Lochmaben to Dalton, that road is a death trap. It is an absolute joke.”

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell has also alerted Dumfries and Galloway Council to the large number of damaged vehicles resulting from that specific pothole on the main west route to and from Annan.

He said: “This is a very busy narrow stretch and I understand from constituents that one isolated deep pothole, next to woodlands, has proved hard for drivers to spot and negotiate.

“It appears to have been causing concern for at least a fortnight. Perhaps the road’s ‘B’ status has led to the slow response. It was formerly part of the pre-bypass A75 trunk road and carries a high volume of traffic.

“Like many potholes, this one is causing unwelcome expense and inconvenience to the motorists affected and appears to be an accident waiting to happen.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council say they are trying to carry out repairs as quickly as they can.

A council spokesperson said: “The council undertake repairs using a number of different methods. These include cold lay material (Viafix), spray injection patching, and hot lay materials of differing specification.

“Dumfries and Galloway Council seek to undertake permanent repairs at the earliest opportunity, this is subject to several factors: severity of defect, location, backlog of repairs, and resources available at that particular time.

“Temporary repairs are undertaken to allow a more permanent repair to be undertaken later, this may include traditional patching, patch, and seal operations, or resurfacing.

“The roads service has recently secured additional funds of £30million over the next five years, as part of this the service will be recruiting additional staff as well as looking at new innovative ways in which we carry out our road maintenance duties. This major investment will allow for a quicker response time on certain aspects of the work we undertake.

“The annual budget for structural repairs is approximately £1.18 million. This budget heading covers emergency patching, patch and seal, routine, and planned.”


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