A hole lot of trouble
PUBLISHED: 11:44 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:51 06 May 2010
A MAN who claims driving over a pothole caused £1,200 worth of damage to his car has accused Hertfordshire Highways of shirking its responsibilities. James Kellet, of The Limes, Hitchin, estimated a pothole on Stevenage Road, opposite Kingshott School, to
A MAN who claims driving over a pothole caused £1,200 worth of damage to his car has accused Hertfordshire Highways of shirking its responsibilities.
James Kellet, of The Limes, Hitchin, estimated a pothole on Stevenage Road, opposite Kingshott School, to measure approximately one metre long, one third of a metre across and, at its deepest, around 12cm.
He said: "That pothole has been a problem for as many years as I have been travelling the road.
"Hertfordshire Highways are just not looking after that stretch of road and they are always spot-filling the pothole.
"They stated that it's cheaper to keep spot-filling than to do a proper repair but it's Joe Public who suffer."
Mr Kellet claims driving over the pothole ruined a front and rear tyre of his car and buckled a front and rear alloy wheel.
He told The Comet that to replace the sports tyres and the wheels, which had been sprayed to match the vehicle, would cost £1,200.
Mr Kellet said: "I immediately phoned Herts County Council after I had done the damage to my car and reported the problem.
"Eighteen minutes later they reported that they had filled the hole in.
"I don't believe that was as a result of my phone call alone."
He added: "The council said they rely on members of the public to report problems with the roads.
"It seems barmy in this day and age that we have to do the job for the council when we pay council tax and road fund licence. I find it galling."
Hertfordshire Highways has recently invested an additional £10m into its £50m budget in a bid to improve the condition of Hertfordshire's roads and pavements.
County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "We have had overwhelming feedback from Hertfordshire residents that improving roads and pavements is a top priority for them.
"We have made this extra investment in direct response to what the public have told us and it will provide a real and visible difference to local roads across the county."
Since the incident took place, Mr Kellet has been corresponding with HCC in a bid for compensation and the issue is still ongoing.
A spokesman for HCC said: "I can confirm that we received a claim but we cannot comment on individual cases for legal reasons and because we are bound to protect claimant confidentiality.