Friday 23 February 2018  Issue No 2274




Dear Eds,

Copies of my emails to Bear Scotland & their replies    

Sent: Saturday 3 February 2018 14:22

To: Enquiries

Subject: POTHOLES A835

I would like to report dangerous potholes on the A835 road from Ullapool to Inverness. The worst stretch of road runs alongside Loch Glascarnoch. 

On Tuesday 30th January I was travelling back to Ullapool late in the evening after a visit to Raigmore Hospital, with my heavily pregnant daughter, the weather was very wet and windy and we were travelling slowly around 40 miles per hour. Along the side of Loch Glascarnoch we hit a very deep pothole and immediately realised the car was damaged as it began to rattle from the back. In the rain it was impossible to see the extent of the pothole as it was full of water, we had to travel very slowly along the road, through more potholes before I found a safe place to stop. Luckily another motorist was kind enough to stop and help us, travelling slowly back to Ullapool behind us to make sure we arrived safely. The garage confirmed the following day that the rear shock absorber was broken and I had to have this replaced as a matter of urgency so my car would be roadworthy when my daughter needs to attend the hospital.

I feel very strongly that the road surface had deteriorated greatly in the last few months and is becoming a danger to drivers particularly in the dark. This road is vital to local communities and as part of the NORTH COAST 500 route will be increasingly busy as the year goes on. Everyone I told about my experience agreed that they also have had to weave about the road to avoid potholes and have felt in danger of damaging their cars or potentially causing an accident trying to avoid areas where there is poor road surface.

I would be grateful for details of how to reclaim the cost of repairing the damage to my car and reassurance that this matter will be assessed and resolved as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

From: Enquiries     Sent: Saturday 3 February 14:40

Subject: RE: POTHOLES A835

Thank you for your enquiry below, a third party claim pack will be arranged for you in the coming days, for any future enquiries relating to the claim please direct them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kind Regards

Incident Liaison Officer | BEAR Scotland Ltd

To: Enquiries   Subject: RE: POTHOLES A835

Thank you for your response,  I would however like to make it clear that rather than the cost of repairs to my car being my main concern, it is the repair to the road surface that I am most concerned about.  When I said I hoped the matter would be assessed and resolved I was referring to the road. I want to be able to drive safely to Inverness.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

Good Evening Mrs Strange  

Thank you for your email below, as it’s the weekend I unfortunately won’t be able to provide you with a definitive response, but I will send an email to the relevant teams who will be able to provide a response for you early next week. Hope this helps with your enquiry for the moment.

Kind Regards,

Incident Liaison Officer | BEAR Scotland Ltd

Sent: Thursday 15 February

I am disappointed to have had no further contact from you since my initial email on Saturday 3rd February. The weather continues to be terrible and from all accounts the road continues to concern all who use it. I can only hope that plans are underway to make repairs but have had no reassurance to this effect.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

From: Doreen Cockbill

Sent: Monday 19 February 11:55

Subject: POTHOLES A835

Dear Mrs Strange,

We are sorry to hear you had an unpleasant journey home on 30 January.   Unfortunately, the recent prolonged period of difficult winter weather conditions – cold / snow / rapid thaw under rising daytime temperatures, accompanied by heavy rainfall with low temperatures overnight – has been such that accelerated deterioration of the road surface has occurred at localised sections across the trunk road network.  

We have now started a rolling programme of urgent resurfacing works across the network and the A835 at Loch Glascarnoch is programmed for delivery in Spring 2018.  This section and any areas out with these planned works will continue to be regularly inspected and localised repairs will be undertaken as required.   In addition to the above, BEAR Scotland has a contractual obligation to inspect the trunk road network, including the A835, at 7-day intervals. These inspections are primarily to identify defects that require prompt attention (Category 1 defects) because they present, or could present, an immediate hazard to road users. For road surface Category 1 defects, the operating companies are required to carry out temporary repairs by 6am the following morning and permanent repairs within 28 days.   Lesser defects and general deterioration which do not necessitate such an immediate safety-led response are then considered with findings from our annual testing of the network to determine future maintenance schemes. These schemes may include localised patching repairs or larger structural maintenance schemes, which are then programmed and considered against competing priorities across the trunk road network.   We have arranged for a claim form to be sent out to you for completion.   We hope this is helpful.  

Regards, Doreen Cockbill

Correspondence Officer I BEAR Scotland I North West Unit

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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