Mum’s anger as council rejects pothole claim

Work is carried out on the road in Telham
Work is carried out on the road in Telham

A MOTORIST whose car was damaged by a dangerous pothole, which was reported to East Sussex County Council (ESCC) 33 times in just 22 days, has lost her claim for compensation.

Amanda Manton burst a tyre after striking the pothole in Hastings Road, Telham, on January 22.

Amanda’s car was one of around a dozen vehicles damaged after hitting the same pothole within minutes of each other.

The bizarre incident, which unfolded near Crowhurst Park, left the council facing claims for hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

But Amanda, of Lower Park Road, has now been told she will not get any compensation because the council had inspected the road surface the previous month. She said: “I’m really cross. Aside from being £54 down, that pothole has been a problem since I started the school run after the Christmas holidays.”

Attached to the letter rejecting Amanda’s claim for compensation were several pages of reports about the same pothole dating back to January 23, 2013. Between January 22 and February 12 this year alone, 33 separate reports had been made about the notorious Telham pothole.

Amanda, who uses the road regularly on the school run to Battle Abbey School, said: “I actually phoned the police that night because there were 13 cars on the side of the road. It was a disaster and quite dangerous. We pay our taxes and you expect a road, especially an A-road, to be kept in a reasonable condition.”

An ESCC spokesman said: “As compensation claims are paid from the public purse it’s important that we carefully assess all the evidence before deciding whether a claim should be paid. Around 70 per cent of claims are rejected because the council carried out its duty either by inspecting the road frequently enough or repairing the pothole quickly enough once we were informed of it.

“This case was thoroughly investigated and as this section of road had been inspected on January 15, in line with our requirement to inspect the road on a monthly basis, a decision was taken that this claim would not be paid. We subsequently attended this location on a number of occasions to repair potholes reported to us, and across the county we have repaired more than 13,000 potholes so far this year during, and in the aftermath of, the wettest winter on record. We will be resurfacing Hastings Road using part of the £2.6 million awarded to us by the Department for Transport for repairs to road damage caused by the bad weather.”