Damage caused by potholes on Bexhill’s roads

Potholes are causing misery for Bexhill drivers as reported in last week’s Observer.

Now a Pebsham resident complains his car’s been written off and he’s had to make an insurance claim for the first time in 14 years.

Mark White of Kinver Lane was returning from Highwoods on Thursday February 6 and driving “under 10mph” round the corner of Peartree Lane when his Corsa hit a pothole full of water and the suspension snapped.

Now he is being inconvenienced and says he cannot wait for a compensation claim to come through. He commented: “We need the car. I’ve had to claim on my insurance because I’ve been told by local garages that it can take some time to get money back from the council - which I haven’t got.”

ESCC says any claimant for compensation must provide details of where and when the damage was caused and proof of the damage and the cost incurred to repair it.

The claimant has to show firstly that the vehicle has been damaged as a result of the pothole being there and secondly that the council has failed in its duty to repair it, either by not inspecting the road frequently enough or not repairing it quickly enough once we were informed about it.

“We only pay claims where the council is shown to be legally liable to do so under criteria laid down under the Highways Act, which requires us to repair the roads and keep them safe as appropriate.

“However, the act also provides a defence where the council can show it has a reasonable inspection regime in place and repairs defects in a reasonable amount of time once we’re made aware of them.

The criteria both for how often roads need to be inspected and how quickly potholes need to be repaired once reported to us depends on factors including the amount of traffic which uses the road, the size of the pothole and its position on the road.

Anyone considering making a claim should carefully read the information at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/roads/contactus/injuries.htm

If they do decide to make a claim they should fill in the highways claim form linked from this page and return it along with supporting documents.”

East Sussex County Council is attending to 252 potholes ever day and has doubled its efforts and resources to tackle the problem. Anyone who spots a pothole to report it to us online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/contactus/reportaproblem, via our Twitter feed @esccroads or by calling our contact centre on 0345 60 80 193.