Driver’s fury at pothole cost
PUBLISHED: 12:08 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010
A DRIVER who claims his car was badly damaged by a pothole has branded the county council s policy on compensation as crazy . Peter Gosnell, 39, of Eastern Way, Letchworth GC, drove over a pothole in Eastholm earlier this year. The impact snapped the su
A DRIVER who claims his car was badly damaged by a pothole has branded the county council's policy on compensation as "crazy".
Peter Gosnell, 39, of Eastern Way, Letchworth GC, drove over a pothole in Eastholm earlier this year.
The impact snapped the suspension of his Citroen Berlingo and also damaged a tyre.
Through the cost of repairs and earnings lost while his car was off the road, the incident cost Mr Gosnell nearly £400.
He has tried to claim this money back from Hertfordshire County Council, whose highways department is responsible for the road, but it has refused to pay.
Mr Gosnell claims he was told that the council was not liable for the damage because it had not been made aware of the pothole before the incident happened.
When The Comet contacted HCC, a spokesman said it could not comment on individual cases for legal reasons.
However, he did confirm that in order to pay for damage to cars, the council would need to have been "previously aware of a particular defect/pothole".
The spokesman added that the council's decisions were based on the Highways Act of 1980.
Mr Gosnell hit back: "It's rubbish. Of course they should be liable, it's their road. They should be keeping it maintained at all times. It's what you pay your road tax for.
"How are you supposed to report a hole before you go down it? It's crazy."
Mr Gosnell branded the condition of Eastholm and Eastern Way as "poor".
The spokesman said the council was aware of the condition of that stretch of road and would continue to make potholes safe when they were reported.
However, owing to a limited maintenance budget there are no plans at the moment for permanent repairs such as resurfacing.
* To report potholes or other road damage, ring 1438 737320 or 01923 471320, or go to www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults
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