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A882 pothole nightmare for young Halkirk woman


By David G Scott

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A monster pothole close to Georgemas on the A882 destroyed the tyre of a young Halkirk woman's car in an incident she described as "really, really scary".

Terri Munro was travelling back to her home in Halkirk from a shopping trip to Wick when she encountered the line of potholes close to a railway humpback bridge around noon on Saturday, January 30 .

"I was driving below the speed limit just in case the road was slidey and coming up to the bridge when bang, I hit a massive pothole," she said.

Google Map image showing the A882 and the approximate area where the pothole incident occurred. The curving line shows the rail route and where it crosses the road is a humpback bridge.
Google Map image showing the A882 and the approximate area where the pothole incident occurred. The curving line shows the rail route and where it crosses the road is a humpback bridge.

The 21-year-old knew what had happened as she'd had a similar experience when her tyre blew out on the Spittal road after hitting a pothole there around three years ago.

"It was really, really scary. All I could think of was the worst when I hit it and got such a shock."

Terri said her tyre was ripped apart but luckily her partner, Jamie Morris who she lives with, is a mechanic and helped sort out the issue. She has put a quote in to Highland Council to cover the costs of replacing the tyre.

The line of potholes stretches into the distance in this picture Terri took after the incident.
The line of potholes stretches into the distance in this picture Terri took after the incident.

A council spokesman said: “We are unable to discuss the status of individual claims but we have a process in place and all incidents that are reported are followed up."

The spokesman pointed out how the roads department has continued "to deliver front line services throughout the Covid-19 restrictions" and how its main focus has been "urgent road defects and winter maintenance".

Terri said she had found it difficult to find the right organisation to contact and had mistakenly emailed Bear Scotland, who deal with the A9 rather than the A882.

"I guess I'm quite lucky as my partner Jamie was able to come and pick me up in his car. He's also a mechanic which is pretty helpful too."

After the incident Terri said all she could think about was flagging up the pothole problem to warn other road users so she returned to the site with her partner and used florescent paint to highlight the worst parts. She sprayed the bright pink paint around the "monster pothole" she thinks ruined her tyre and took pictures she later posted on social media to warn local people travelling the popular route.

In the photographs, a line of potholes can be seen stretching into the distance on the A882 and sections of the road surface appear to be crumbing away into grit.

Terri sprayed some florescent pink paint around the worst potholes to warn other drivers.Pictures: Terri Munro
Terri sprayed some florescent pink paint around the worst potholes to warn other drivers.Pictures: Terri Munro

"There are terrible ones [potholes] near Haster too. I slowed down quite a bit anyway when I saw that the road looked quit gravelly. Sometimes gravel can make your car slide about."

She said that a close-by humpback bridge, allowing trains to access Georgemas station, could have made the situation even worse as traffic would not have seen her vehicle lying at the side of the road. Hitting one large pothole was bad enough, she said, but there were a series of other potholes to contend with after the blowout and she said she had to drive along the middle of the road for a bit to avoid them.

"I drove up a distance away from the humpback bridge and a kind lady let me leave my car in her driveway until we could come back and get it sorted. I though all my tyres might have been burst at first but luckily it was only the one.

Potholes can be seen on both sides of the A882 in the picture Terri took soon after her accident.
Potholes can be seen on both sides of the A882 in the picture Terri took soon after her accident.

"I've had my licence for about five years now and know the road well but I'd hate to think what it would be like for someone who had just passed their driving test or for an elderly person – it could have well put them off the road."

The council spokesman added: "Where resources and restrictions have permitted we have undertaken routine maintenance works. In the meantime we refer people to our factsheet on potholes that is on our website and encourage anyone to report any they spot to us at www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/20457/pothole_factsheet "

An online report can also be made at www.highland.gov.uk/info/20005/roads_and_pavements/96/road_faults or you can report issues by telephone on 01349 886601.

Dismay at clutter in Wick town centre car park


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