SCORES of Wigan drivers have successfully sued the council for pot hole damage to their vehicles.
Town hall chiefs have paid out more than £5,000 to 59 motorists over the past three years due to the poor state of some of the borough’s roads, an FoI sweep of local councils by insurance company LV= has revealed.
Nationwide the Liverpool-based insurance giant found that as many as 16 per cent of drivers have been left with damage to their vehicle in the past 12 months.
In Wigan the council spent £1.7m resurfacing and fixing pot holes in 2012 / 13 and £2.03m in 13 / 14 and has already committed £1.29m this financial year.
It only carried out permanent pot hole repairs, with principal roads fully re-surfaced every 40 years, other classifed roads every 50 years and unclassified roads every 85 years.
Hugely experienced Wallgate motor engineer Brian King of Seven Stars MOT Centre in Seven Stars Road Wallgate – an assessor for more than 30 years – revealed that more than 11 per cent of MOT failures at his garage over the past two months have been due to suspension component failure.
And that represents a six per cent increase.
But he blames drivers failing to give enough respect to traffic calming features like sleeping policemen for the majority of MOT suspension failures he is approving.
The garage handles more than 300 MOT tests a month.
Modern suspensions comprise numerous items but main components that are causing a Test failure is splits to lower bushes and cracks to front springs.
Mr King said: “There has certainly been an increase in MOT failures because of suspension, nothing mega, but it is certainly on the rise in Wigan as far as our experience is concerned. But I think that this is due to driver error in most cases and motorists who seem to think that if they go fast enough and fly over the speed bumps on the estates, rather than slowing down they are going to get away with it. And at the end of the day, they are not.
“I’m not one to bang the drum for the council necessarily but as far as I see the pot hole situation isn’t too bad in Wigan compared with some towns.”