Tyre trauma for mum

PUBLISHED: 10:53 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

Melanie Wickens with Jack 9, Alfie and Stephanie 4

Melanie Wickens with Jack 9, Alfie and Stephanie 4

A MOTHER of three is fuming after being left with a £350 bill after her car hit a pothole. In the latest example of poor road surfaces in Comet country, and following on from The Comet s recent stories highlighting such roads, Melanie Wickens, 30, from Wa

A MOTHER of three is fuming after being left with a £350 bill after her car hit a pothole.

In the latest example of poor road surfaces in Comet country, and following on from The Comet's recent stories highlighting such roads, Melanie Wickens, 30, from Wansbeck Close, Stevenage, has been left out of pocket and angry as she claims that nobody is taking the blame for the incident.

Ms Wickens was with her three children, including four-month-old Alfie, when she pulled over on a narrow part of Damask Green Road in Weston to avoid a van which was driving towards them at high speed.

As she pulled over her car hit a pothole and she was left stranded with three children and a flat tyre.

Luckily passers-by helped to get her children to Weston Primary School and a mechanic came out to repair the wheel.

However she has been left driving around with a space saver tyre ever since as the bill for the alloy, tyre, balance and tracking has come to almost £350.

The disgruntled mother immediately contacted Hertfordshire Highways and was told to send in a receipt for the damage along with photos and details of witnesses for her to be reimbursed.

She handed these in personally to save time but driving down the same stretch of road later that day she was astonished to see that all the potholes were being marked for repair. They were filled with tarmac an hour later.

Ms Wickens was later informed that it was a fault of the fields - that water running off the fields had caused "edge erosion" - and therefore not a fault of the authorities, leaving her with no case for compensation. She has appealed against this.

Ms Wickens said: "The lane has now been repaired. If the hole or 'edge erosion', as Highways are calling it, is not their problem, why have they repaired it and why did they fill it in with temporary tarmac on the same day it happened?"

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said: "We cannot comment on individual claim cases for legal reasons and because we are bound to protect claimant confidentiality."

After The Comet's recent stories which highlighted poor roads in our area, a council spokesperson said it was still developing next year's programme for road repairs and that roads pencilled in for repairs have yet to be chosen.

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