Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pothole pay

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Govt forced to shell out $36 000

by TRE GREAVES tregreaves@nationnews.com

POTHOLES COST GOVERNMENT almost $36 000 in damages last year.

That’s almost double the amount the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance paid out to motorists in 2017.

It was at the Kingsland, Christ Church junction, along the Adams section of the ABC Highway yesterday, that Minister of Transport Dr William Duguid said over 100 motorists were reimbursed after their vehicles were damaged by potholes.

104 claims

However, during a followup telephone interview with the DAILY NATION, Duguid revealed the actual number of claims was 104 with a price tag of $35 708.40. In 2017, the claims totalled $19 000.

The most claims, 46, came from incidents in St Michael, but there were none in St Peter.

On average, Duguid said they received between eight to nine claims a month, but due to the pothole patching programme and the other works, that number had decreased.

Late last year, the Inter-American Development Bank-funded $50-million road improvement project started on the Gordon Cummins section of the ABC Highway. Stadium Road in St Michael has also been completed and work is being done along the Charles Duncan O’neal Highway in the North.

In order for motorists to be reimbursed for the damages, they must write the ministry and Permanent Secretary Mark Cummins, who approves the payments. During the press briefing, Duguid said the average payments were $275.

When asked how long motorists usually had to wait, Duguid said it varied. He explained that ministry officials had to carry out their investigations, which included going out to confirm there was a hole in the spot, taking pictures and interviewing the complainant. Motorists also had to prove their insurance and registration were up to date.

“They have to prove they have a right to be on the road, they have to show they are the owner of the car, and once everything is in order and once there is a justified claim, then it is paid,” the minister said.

However, any claims for $2 500 and over had to go before the Solicitor General’s Office for approval.

“So if you are smart and want it done relatively quickly and want it brought in under $2 500, the ministry can get it back to you much faster,” Duguid said.

Please see also Page 3.

MINISTER of Transport, Works and Maintenance Dr William

Duguid. (FP)

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