Victims of pothole between Stotfold and Letchworth launch appeals after Herts County Council refuses to pay compensation

Jo West uses a water bottle to show how deep the pothole is.

Jo West uses a water bottle to show how deep the pothole is. - Credit: Archant

Motorists whose cars were damaged by a mammoth pothole between Letchworth and Stotfold have had their claims for compensation rejected by Herts County Council – and several are launching appeals.

Jo West uses a water bottle to show how deep the pothole is.

Jo West uses a water bottle to show how deep the pothole is. - Credit: Archant

The council’s insurance team has told drivers it does not accept their claims of negligence as the site, by Fairfield Park, had been inspected on June 1, before the pothole claimed a dozen or more victims on June 20.

But Jo West, of Periwinkle Lane in Hitchin, has retorted in her appeal that the pothole was reported and marked out on June 14, and that it was not fixed quickly enough.

The hole destroyed Jo’s nearside tyres and necessitated repairs costing almost £300 – money she says the council should pay her back.

“Your authority failed to follow the maintenance and inspection policy applicable to the road in question,” she wrote in her appeal.

The pothole in Stotfold Road before it was filled in.

The pothole in Stotfold Road before it was filled in. - Credit: Archant


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“The pothole’s dimensions were 3ft in width and 7ft in length, as well as 4in in depth. It is therefore of such dimensions that it creates a serious risk to road users, and should have been repaired promptly.

“There were numerous other vehicles which had a similar problem. They were also parked up on the pavement with destroyed tyres.

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“The evidence I have attached shows that you have failed in your duty, and are now liable for the full cost of damage to my vehicle.”

A county council spokesman told the Comet it did not comment on individual claims, but had ‘robust procedures for dealing with all claims for compensation’.

Cars having their tyres changed on the side of Stotfold Road.

Cars having their tyres changed on the side of Stotfold Road. - Credit: Archant

A decision on the appeals is expected within six weeks.

For more see hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/transtreets/highways/hhinsclaim1.

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