HIT a pothole? Damaged your car? Thought about claiming compensation? Join the club!
Most fair-minded people t hink councils have a responsibility to maintain roads – and if holes in the carriageway become big enough to damage vehicles then they have failed in that responsibility.
Unfortunately it is Action Desk’s duty to inform you that your chances of getting a penny are slim to none – as Darren Potts discovered.
He hit a pothole on Knutton Road, Parson Cross, in December which broke a spring on his Renault Megane. It cost £303 to replace, including parts and labour – a considerable financial blow just before Christmas.
Not one to take misfortune lying down, Darren photographed the crater and measured it – 70cm by 50 cm by 10cm deep – and put in a claim to Sheffield City Council.
Darren then spoke to an official – who swiftly skewered his claim. The road had last been inspected in March. End of story.
Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 allows councils to tell drivers to take a hike. It establishes a watertight defence provided the road was inspected within a legal timeframe – in this case 12 months.
Darren, of Fulmere Crescent, Parson Cross, said: “Apparently they only inspect the road once every 12 months. Which person is being paid a fortune to inspect roads once a year? Heads should roll.
“I will be writing to Mr Blunkett re this matter, as I can’t afford not to have my money.”
In a letter to Mr Potts, Jenny Gough of the Insurance and Risk Team says there was no negligence on the council’s part and therefore no claim.
She adds: “While we regret the inconvenience and expense you have suffered we can find no evidence of council negligence and therefore have no alternative but to decline your claim.”