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The £165 pothole - Norton driver's battle for compensation
A FURIOUS builder is threatening to take Worcestershire County Council to court after damaging his car while driving over a “shocking” pothole.
Derek Jones had to fork out £165 to repair his car after hitting a three-inch deep pothole close to his home in Norton, near Worcester.
Worcestershire County Council has revealed it is repairing an average of 200 potholes a day at the moment and is appealing for more people to report them.
But the council has refused to cover the cost of Mr Jones’s repairs, despite having been told of the offending pothole the day before his car hit it.
Mr Jones was driving along Church Lane when his black Kia Cee'd hit the hole, causing a burst front tyre on the passenger’s side, and dislodging internal parts of the vehicle, meaning it had to be re-aligned at a garage.
Since having his request for compensation refused, he is considering taking the authority to a small claims court in a bid to get some money back.
“I was driving up Church Lane and it was dark and slightly wet at the time, but I was doing a normal speed,” said Mr Jones, aged 54, of Norton, near Worcester.
“I suddenly went over this pothole and it was a great big thing, around three inches deep – the whole car shook.
“The passenger’s front tyre blew and I knew it was bad. I reported it to the council and they filled it in within days so they realised it too.”
He sent a photocopy of the receipt along with a letter to County Hall, but got a response last week saying he would not get any compensation.
“It basically said ‘sorry, but there’s nothing we can do’,” he said. “All I want is compensation for what I think I’m entitled to.
“That road is so busy, I reckon other people are out of pocket too. I’m thinking of taking them to court.”
The council has admitted the pothole was first reported to the authority by another driver 24 hours before Mr Jones hit it on Saturday, December 29.
The hole was repaired the next day – Sunday, December 30, and Mr Jones says he got his letter last Wednesday confirming that he would not get compensation.
A council spokesman said he was unable to comment on “specific cases” and refused to say why his request was rejected.
Highways manager Jon Fraser said: “In order for a claimant to be successful the county council must be proven to be in breach of its statutory duty.
“A defence to such claims is available to the council under Section 58 of the Highways Act, and if it can show that a defence exists the claimant will not be offered compensation.
“Therefore each instance is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.”
200 potholes filled in daily across Worcestershire