FIFE COUNCIL have denied knowing about a problematic pothole that caused damage costing £500 to a van despite multiple families claiming to have reported the defect before the incident.

Steven Frain has provided evidence that three households on Canmore Grove in Dunfermline reported the ditch before his accident on December 11 after it caused his tyre to rip and wheel rim to buckle.

As reported previously in the Press, the impact caused a piece of concrete to jump out and hit his van, leading to damage to his power-steering and leaving Steven with a hefty bill.

However, Steven was told finally – almost 10 MONTHS after the incident – by a third party claims handler that the "defect in question had not been reported prior", therefore they weren't able to offer compensation.

"I have contacted Fife Council and Gallagher Bassett (claims-handler) time and time again but they just ignore it," Steven told the Press.

"Three of my customers on Canmore Grove reported the pothole and I have photos of council workers fixing the pothole that damaged my van so I do not know how they can't take responsibility for the state of the road.

"I've been told if I'm unhappy with the decision to seek legal advice and take it to the small claims court but I've spent so much time already on this."

Steven, of Shaw Street, first contacted the Press in March after the council fixed the pothole that caused his van damage three months after the incident.

He said the state of the pothole was so bad that it measured 12 inches wide but couldn’t be seen when filled with snow or rain.

Service manager Bill Liddle said at the time there had been ongoing issues with potholes around Canmore Grove and a backlog caused by the pandemic and poor weather had delayed repairs.

Scott Dixon, a consumer rights expert who specialises in motor disputes, believes Fife Council are the "worst" local authority in Scotland to deal with over pothole compensation claims.

He is helping a single mum from Dunfermline take the council to court next week after they refused to take responsibility for a pothole that caused damage costing £890 to Laura Niven's Kia Ceed in February 2020.

Scott said: "A Freedom of Information request has shown that between April last year and May this year, Fife Council handled 51,534 complaints relating to potholes, but during the 2020-2021 financial year just £597 in compensation was paid out.

"They are also being investigated by the Information Commission for giving false information.

"They just fob you off with shutdown answers and misleading information.

"It's cost the council a five figure sum fighting Laura's cause and a pothole repair costs £43.91 so they could have spent the money repairing 280 potholes instead.

"Nobody is prepared to take them on but I would urge anyone that had been fobbed off to take them to court."

Risk management team leader Clare Whyte said: “We follow a claims procedure to make sure we treat every claim consistently and fairly.

“Every claim is assessed by a specialist firm of legal liability claim-handlers who make decisions based on information provided by the council and the claimant.

"We will not normally reconsider a claim but if a claimant provides additional documentation or information, we’ll look into that and arrange for the claim-handlers to reassess the claim.”

“If at any stage a claimant is not satisfied with the claim decision, they may wish to seek legal advice.

“Claims are only paid if the council has not met its legal duty to inspect and maintain roads."