Double pothole claim rejected

A Battle resident has had two applications for compensation turned down after hitting a three foot long pothole.

Harry Sedgwick, of Langton Close, was driving down Watermill Lane in Catsfield when his four day old car hit the pothole, resulting in £250 worth of damage.

The motorist believed his subsequent compensation claim would be successful but was twice turned down.

East Sussex Highways claim the road was inspected before the incident and no defect was found, leaving Mr Sedgwick frustrated.

“I was extremely angry and disappointed,” he said.

“I missed three days of driving for work and wasn’t able to get around that weekend.

“The poor state of the roads has become a running theme and the council should keep our roads safe.”

Mr Sedgwick believed he ticked all the boxes for compensation, but was not able to receive any because East Sussex County council inspected the road in the months before and found no defect.

The council sent a road worker to fix the pothole the following day.

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said nearly three quarters of claims are rejected because of the ‘frequent’ inspections.

“Every compensation claim we receive is carefully assessed,” the spokesman said.

“Around 70 per cent of claims are rejected because the council carried out its duty either by inspecting the road frequently enough or repairing the pothole quickly enough once we were informed of it.

“In this case, the road is inspected every six months and at the most recent inspection before this incident, no defect was found.

“We do understand it is frustrating when motorists sustain damage as a result of potholes but we are responsible for maintaining more than 2,000 miles of road in the county.

“The law recognises that we are only liable for claims if we haven’t inspected the road often enough or didn’t repair any defect quickly enough once we received a report of it, which was not the case in this instance.”

Mr Sedgwick is now writing to Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman.

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