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Motorist told to find 'exact pothole' that damaged car

By Mathilda Bartholomew | August 21, 2023

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A motorist has expressed dissatisfaction with a local council's response after being instructed to pinpoint the precise pothole responsible for the damage to his car.

Motorist told to find 'exact pothole' that damaged car

A motorist has expressed dissatisfaction with a local council's response after being instructed to pinpoint the precise pothole responsible for the damage to his car.

Trevor Kay recounted having to replace both of his car's tyres, incurring a cost of £90, after encountering numerous road imperfections along Boathouse Lane in Stockton. The 66-year-old resident of Dixon Street in Stockton criticized the council's reaction as being "utterly unreasonable."

The Stockton Borough Council asserted that it was following a legal mandate, requiring claimants to provide "specific" details regarding the incident.

Mr. Kay, a retired steelworker and former soldier, recalled that upon entering the road, his near-side tires experienced sudden damage. He pulled over to assess the situation and immediately contacted the council, sending them photographic evidence of the road conditions. According to him, there were as many as ten potholes distributed along the route.

He remarked, "When navigating a turn, it's practically impossible to anticipate the exact locations of potholes."

A few days later, he received an email notifying him that the council necessitated "additional information" before considering any compensation, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"They want me to identify the precise pothole out of about eight or ten that I hit, which is completely absurd," he remarked.

"If I can't accurately pinpoint the specific pothole I struck, my claim is essentially invalidated. It's an entirely flawed approach."

A spokesperson from the council disclosed that the road had been subsequently inspected, and defects had been identified for rectification.

The spokesperson explained, "We are legally obligated to request claimants to furnish details about the particular road defect responsible for their vehicle's damage. However, as it's plausible that Mr. Kay's vehicle damage could have resulted from two closely situated potholes, the claim remains open. We have referred the matter to our highways team for further investigation."

The spokesperson concluded, "We will be communicating with Mr. Kay in the near future to advance the proceedings."

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