Anger over ‘pothole damage’

Ashley Hammond is upset at ESCCs unwillingness to compensate him for damage to his car caused by pot holes July 31st 2013 E31208P
Ashley Hammond is upset at ESCCs unwillingness to compensate him for damage to his car caused by pot holes July 31st 2013 E31208P

A frustrated motorist who says his car was damaged by potholes has had his claim for compensation turned down.

Ashley Hammond, of Percival Road in Hampden Park, said the road he lives in and nearby Wilton Avenue had led to damage to the inner wheel trim of his Vauxhall Vectra because of the surface.

The 32-year-old said he had been quoted £347 for the cost of repairs and he then promptly contacted East Sussex County Council asking for money.

However, he was sent a letter back saying on the information he and the highways department had provided it was not believed that the council were obliged to pay him money, it added, “With regard to the alleged damage, the photographs supplied show minor damage only which would not ordinarily necessitate replacement of the wheels’.

But Mr Hammond, who has had the car for five years, said, “I feel annoyed, we are paying tax and the roads in Eastbourne are not good.

“They say it’s minute scratches but I don’t see how a bent bit of metal can be a minute scratch.

“The tyres are OK but its the wheel trim that is damaged.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “East Sussex County Council, as the highways authority, is responsible for the maintenance of the highway (except trunk roads) across the county.

“The existence of a defect in the road does not automatically mean the county council is responsible for damage to vehicles and liable to pay compensation.

“Each claim is looked at on an individual basis with regard to the current legislation and subsequent decisions of the courts.

“Where the council does not accept that the damage has resulted from any failure on its part compensation cannot be paid.”

Back in June Roger Williams from East Sussex Highways said the county council was ‘winning the war’ against potholes in East Sussex. He said around 400 potholes in the area were being repaired each day.

This followed calls from Herald readers highlighting roads in the town that had suffered cracks due to the icy conditions and wet weather.