A Paisley man whose car was written off after hitting a pothole has blasted Renfrewshire Council’s insurer for trying to “fob him off”.

Greig Hepson has been locked in a lengthy battle with the local authority and Zurich in a bid to secure compensation for the incident almost two years ago.

But the 63-year-old, who was looking for £2,000, is exasperated as the prospect of a pay-out appeared to diminish at “every single turn” in his fight.

Mr Hepson said he was driving along Old Sneddon Street on December 21, 2021 when his Suzuki Ignis Sport ran over the crater in question.

The impact was so severe, the Foxbar resident claimed, it broke the steering on the driver’s side front wheel, pulling the drive shaft from the engine.

CCTV footage, which Mr Hepson acquired via a freedom of information request, shows his vehicle veering off course and coming to a halt across two lanes.

“The road at that time was like Swiss cheese,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service. “There were holes everywhere.

“My insurance company wrote the car off. It was quite an old car to be fair but it had a current MOT. By the time they took away the excess and paid for the car to get towed away, they gave me £490 for the car.

“I’d just renewed insurance, so because I’d claimed I had to pay the insurance which was £540, so the car was gone and I was £50 out of pocket, which is just incidental.

“But my real annoyance with this is that at every turn, they [Zurich] have tried to fob me off – every single turn.”

After confirming receipt of the details of Mr Hepson’s claim in February 2022, Zurich notified him in April that year that it had concluded its investigation.

In a letter seen by the LDRS, the company’s claims department said the council’s duty was to take “reasonable care” in ensuring the roads are “maintained in a safe condition.” 

It added: “They can’t be expected to ensure that the roads are in a perfect condition at all times.”

Mr Hepson was told the site of the incident is subject to monthly inspections by the council and on November 29, 2021, a defect was noted and repairs carried out.

Zurich continued: “It would seem therefore that the defect developed between the time of the repair and the date of the incident.

“In the circumstances, whilst we are naturally sympathetic, we regret we are unable to consider a claim for compensation as it would not appear that our customer has been negligent or in breach of their statutory obligations.”

Mr Hepson, who said the specific pothole was still there when he visited Old Sneddon Street last Thursday, enlisted the help of a lawyer last Christmas but claimed he has also been “fobbed off”.

“It’s the principle of this,” he added. “They think they can just ignore you and get away with it.

“If you look at that footage, I’m probably very lucky that I never got hit by a car coming behind me.

“And to put the icing on the cake, the pothole is still there, two years on.”

A Zurich spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of the accident Greig Hepson was involved in and have been in communication with all parties involved.

“As this is now a legal matter, we are liaising with the claimant’s representative and cannot comment any further at this time.”

A council spokesperson added: “We would not comment on an ongoing insurance claim.”