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Thanks to potholes.co.uk

by hilary

22 Sep 2010

I had the misfortune to hit a very deep pothole on a bend, on a slope, on the slip road after leaving a fast by-pass, at a point where where oncoming traffic dazzled one, and where there was nowhere to stop. Mercifully, I did not lose control of the car. On return home we checked the wheel that had fallen into this ‘crater’, but only on the outside, and found no apparent damage.

With the roads in such bad repair after the cold weather, it took us a while to realize that the rumbling at certain speeds was due to more than poor road surfaces, and it was only in stages that it became clear that both the tyre and alloy wheel had to be replaced. Since the hole was filled in the day after the incident, I could only take photos of the repair, and not the ‘crater’.

I followed the advice of potholes.co.uk, applying under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for details of road safety inspections, the way these inspections were carried out, reports of incidents, the time elapsing between identification and repair of any defects etc. I then waded through the Highway Inspections Guidance Manual and smudgily scanned reports that I was sent, some of which led me to deduce how notorious this pothole was! The paperwork took time and perseverance; I considered all relevant factors, such as the use the slip road is put to (including being an emergency vehicle route), volume and speed of traffic, relative position of pothole and wheel tracks, and the fact that despite the number and severity of other incidents there in the preceding hours, no warning sign had been displayed. I submitted my claim, with photographic evidence and precise date and time of incident, and made several follow-up calls over the months.

I had reservations about making a claim given the state of the public coffers, but was also concerned about this unexpected burden on our own finances. The Council staff were very pleasant and very professional throughout in the way they handled matters, and I am delighted to report that much of my claim has been met. A deduction was made for wear and tear on the tyre, and I am expecting my cheque for alloy wheel and part of the tyre to arrive any day. Your guidance was fundamental to my succeeding in this claim; thank you so much.


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