Driver fights for claim after tyre 'slashed' by pothole in Watnall

An angry road user is fighting for compensation after his tyre was ‘slashed completely’ by a pothole while driving home through Watnall.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:44 pm
Robert's car was damaged by this pothole in Long Lane, Watnall.

Robert Rankin was making his way down Long Lane in Watnall, near Moorgreen, back in January when his car was badly damaged by an uneven road surface.

Mr Rankin immediately reported the incident to Nottinghamshire County Council and forwarded a claim form, photographs and an invoice for tyre repairs costing £200.

But the council failed to admit liability for the incident, saying the damage to the road occurred between routine inspections.

Mr Rankin said: “They did an inspection on January 4 and my incident happened on January 21.

“They’re saying the indentation must have appeared during that time but to me it looked like more than 17 days worth of damage.”

In its defence, the council cited the Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, which is valid if it can prove that any defect, no matter how dangerous, did not exist through any fault on its part at the time of the last inspection.

Mr Rankin continued: “With this in place, it seems nobody can make a claim for any vehicle damage due to potholes. Absolutely terrible.

“And is a monthly inspection really enough for a major road like that? What if there was a fatality from this – would they still use section 58?”

The driver is continuing to fight the claim on the basis that the council subsequently inspecting the pothole and carrying out repairs demonstrates liability.

Mr Rankin, a commercial insurance broker with 43 years experience, said: "This is clearly an admission of liability. If the road area was not broken, why fix it?”

A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesperson said: “To have a valid claim, it would be necessary to demonstrate that any loss or damage arose as a result of negligence on the part of the council.

“Long Lane carriageway is routinely inspected every month. If defects occur between routine inspections the council is reliant upon random ad hoc inspections and/or public notification.

“The fact that the pothole was repaired post-incident is not an admission of liability but rather that the council acted in order to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”