A MOTORIST whose car was damaged while driving through a pothole near Truro is calling on Cornwall Council to pay his £100 repair bill. Pensioner, Howard Vaughan, of St Newlyn East, was driving through Fiddlers Green last week when his car tyre was badly damaged.
The former marketing and PR executive said the route was a "major hazard" and that he was lucky nobody was injured as a result of the incident. He has written to Cornwall Council's chief executive, Kevin Lavery, asking the authority to pay for a new tyre after his was shredded by the pothole.
Mr Vaughan said: "Although highways filled in the pot holes to this particular road in the summer it has deteriorated to such an extent that the road is now a hazard to motorists. I know that conditions vary due to the prolonged wet conditions, but I did not expect to experience a potentially dangerous incident."
While driving along the road, he added: "We suddenly felt this tremendous bump, followed by a grinding noise. Although modern cars are designed to cope with blow outs, the car veered violently to the right. I realised something was wrong and stopped to inspect the front of the car. The near side tyre was completely shredded around the rim of the wheel."
Having returned to the scene Mr Vaughan measured the offending pothole which was 1.4 meters (4ft.7ins) long, 49cm (1ft 7ins) wide and 19cm (7 ½ ins) deep. As you see in the photograph, the sides of the hole are not only deep but have jagged edges. It's not as if my tyres were worn, as the car has only done just over 9,500 miles."
Between April and December last year Cornwall Council repaired 6,000 potholes. Recent floods also caused £3million damage to highways. Its priority, it said, was to identify and repair potholes and damage to the county's principal routes. However, its recent capital allocation of £4.8m from the Department for Transport for Cornwall was to improve the highway network and not for day-to-day maintenance, including repairs to potholes.
Mr Vaughan said its priorities should be to keep the whole road network in good shape, adding: "I pay my road tax along with millions of motorists, the budget is massive. Blaming bad weather is an excuse the roads are not fit for purpose. There's an old saying -they should save for a rainy day."
Cornwall Council said people can report potholes via its website or by calling 0300 1234 222.
Anyone who has sustained damage to their vehicle and consider that the council has failed to maintain the highway road surface, can make a compensation claim by contacting Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 100 or by visiting www.cornwall.gov.uk