After a sizeable pothole caused £600 pounds worth of damage to their car, a couple from Yorkshire were confident that their pothole compensation claim would be successful. However, they have fallen foul of what they call a ‘ridiculous rule’ that has left them severely out of pocket. Sean and Jeanette Burton from Wakefield Yorkshire were driving their Mercedes CLS 320 on Dewsbury Road in Ossett when the front wheel hit a considerable pothole. The wheel was badly damaged and required £600 pounds spent in the garage to put it right. However when he put in his claim for compensation to the Council, he was disgusted to receive the result. As the pothole had not been reported to the Council and had not been there last time the road was inspected, the Council successfully argued it was not liable.
After footing the repair bill himself Mr Burton revealed what he would do if he was in the situation again. He said, “If it happens again I won’t report it straight away, I’ll get a friend to report it first.” The Councils’ insurance company Travellers Insurance Ltd stated that “given the length of the road network is 1,460km, it is impractical to keep it totally clear of all potholes at any one moment in time.” This is why Councils rely heavily on people reporting dangerous potholes. If the Council fails in its duty to maintain safety on the roads when it knows that there is a problem then a pothole compensation claim may well be successful.