South Scotland

Biker loses £250,000 Tweedsmuir crash damages claim

A701 Image copyright Google
Image caption The accident happened on the A701 near Tweedsmuir in August 2011

A motorcyclist has lost a £250,000 damages claim after being badly hurt in a crash near Tweedsmuir in August 2011.

Peter Dewar said his bike left the road on the A701 due to its defective surface and Scottish Borders Council's failure to deal with the hazard.

The local authority denied being at fault, saying it had a reasonable system of inspection in place.

The Court of Session ruled Mr Dewar had not proved the council had acted negligently and dismissed the claim.

The accident happened on the Moffat to Edinburgh road on 12 August 2011 and resulted in the motorcyclist suffering serious injuries from which he has not fully recovered.

Mr Dewar was 44 at the time and travelling from RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria to stay with his brother in Fife.

He was left unconscious for three days in hospital after the crash.

'Reasonable care'

Lord Pentland said the "preponderance of the evidence" pointed towards the accident having occurred when the motorcycle went over an area of eroded road surface.

However, he said that was not sufficient to find the council liable to pay damages.

He said it also had to be established that a roads authority of "ordinary competence using reasonable care" would have identified the hazard and taken steps to correct it.

The judge said that centred on finding roads inspector Kenneth McCudden had been negligent when examining the route the month before the accident.

He said that there was "no basis" on which he could come to that conclusion.

"I have great sympathy for the pursuer, who sustained serious injuries with lasting effects," he said.

"In order to obtain damages from the defenders he must, however, prove that Mr McCudden acted negligently.

"On the basis of the evidence led before me, I am not satisfied that the pursuer has done so."

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