Row over pothole damages deepens
MORE motorists have come forward to report hitting a pothole on a village road which left a young driver battling with a council over a compensation claim.
The Mail told last week how Hayley Nix was left £326 out of pocket after damaging alloy wheel and tyres on her car when she hit the pothole on the B664 Ashley Road near Weston-by-Welland.
She made a claim for the damage done to Northamptonshire County Council but the authority refused to pay, saying it had made proper checks of the road.
Miss Nix pointed to several inconsistencies in the responses she received from the council’s legal representatives Gallagher Bassett over the date the pothole had been first reported as well as when it was repaired.
And since running the story, the Mail has been contacted by three separate drivers who had all hit the same pothole and had similar stories to tell over their dealings with the council.
Two have told the Mail they plan to take the council to the small claims court over the issue.
The Mail has ut all four motorists in touch with each other so they can swap information about their claims.
The first reply Miss Nix received from Gallagher Bassett said the pothole had not been reported until July 23 – the day Miss Nix hit it.
When she pointed out there had been a faded yellow circle around it she received a second letter apologising and confirming it had been noted by an inspector on July 19.
The legal firm said the pothole had been repaired on July 23 – within a five day window within which reported holes must be fixed. But Miss Nix supplied copies of county council documents indicating it had not been repaired until July 25.
“That must be an error,” replied Gallagher Bassett.
One of the motorists who contacted the Mail following the story, Adrian Forsell, damaged his alloy wheel in the pothole.
He said he uses the road everyday and insists it was not repaired until July 25.
Another, Dave Freer, said: “My wife and I also suffered damage to our car to the tune of about £260 on the same weekend.
“I have asked my MP Mr Alan Duncan to express my frustration to the council and he has.
“I have continually tried to point out that the defect had been previously marked with paint and that the mark was so old that some of it had crumbled into the hole.”
The county council has previously said it is not liable for compensation claims when it has acted “within a reasonable timeframe” to repair road defects.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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