Otterhampton woman locked in pothole battle with Somerset County Council

This is The West Country: Tansy Wheeler has been trying to claim damages to her car from Somerset County Council for eight months Tansy Wheeler has been trying to claim damages to her car from Somerset County Council for eight months

A MOTORIST from Otterhampton is locked in a battle with Somerset County Council amid claims a pothole in her road caused the frame of her car to snap in two.

Tansy Wheeler, 43, damaged her car when driving through a four-inch deep pothole on the road outside her house last June.

Mrs Wheeler said: “It completely cracked the underside of my car.

“The road is used by people building a wetlands habitat at Steart Common just north of where I live so it’s got really busy.”

Mrs Wheeler’s car was off the road for a few weeks and she had to use taxis so she submitted a claim for £216 for the repairs to her car to Somerset County Council.

However the council refused to pay. In an email to Mrs Wheeler, the council said it had inspected the road every six months “in accordance with national guidelines” and had repaired the pothole as soon as it was informed of it.

A series of emails between Mrs Wheeler and the council followed, in which Mrs Wheeler said that the circumstances on the road had changed following extreme weather and the building of the wetlands habitat.

But the council wouldn’t budge. They said: “We maintain that Somerset County Council is not legally liable for the damage.”

Eight months later and Mrs Wheeler is still locked in a battle with the council.

She said: “I am absolutely livid about this. Their six monthly inspection is now a month overdue.”

And she added that new potholes, even deeper than the one that damaged her car, have now appeared.

She said: “I am just waiting for a cyclist to break his neck on one of these potholes. Then maybe the council will do something.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “The road is inspected on a 6 monthly basis in accordance with national guidelines and we were not aware of any safety defects at the location prior to the claimant’s accident.”

Comments (6)

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10:07am Tue 25 Feb 14

Hollow Willow says...

This sad attitude by the Highways Department at SCC Illustrates the importance of reporting any and all potholes to them ASAP. Once reported as a hazard they are obliged to act to rectify the situation. If damage then occurs due to a pothole that has been reported then they are liable.
This sad attitude by the Highways Department at SCC Illustrates the importance of reporting any and all potholes to them ASAP. Once reported as a hazard they are obliged to act to rectify the situation. If damage then occurs due to a pothole that has been reported then they are liable. Hollow Willow
  • Score: 3

11:46am Tue 25 Feb 14

RustyKnight says...

I reported several on Quantock Road last week, haven't been to see if they've been repaired yet.
In the past when I've reported potholes they have been filled in a few days, unfortunately not properly and they are back within a few weeks!
I reported several on Quantock Road last week, haven't been to see if they've been repaired yet. In the past when I've reported potholes they have been filled in a few days, unfortunately not properly and they are back within a few weeks! RustyKnight
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Tue 25 Feb 14

quantock people says...

It's all down to budgets being lowered so they don't have the resources to do these pot- holes and pavements, I asked the council with help of a councillor to repair a fault in Quantock Ave two and a half years ago, STILL WAITING as that was rejected.
Answer to all this is: Stop giving money to other countries for one week and then we would have so much cash flow in this Country that all of these things can be done and help this (our) country back on its feet.
Mike French, Bridgwater.
It's all down to budgets being lowered so they don't have the resources to do these pot- holes and pavements, I asked the council with help of a councillor to repair a fault in Quantock Ave two and a half years ago, STILL WAITING as that was rejected. Answer to all this is: Stop giving money to other countries for one week and then we would have so much cash flow in this Country that all of these things can be done and help this (our) country back on its feet. Mike French, Bridgwater. quantock people
  • Score: 6

11:55pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Baldbloke says...

The whole UK road network is potholed - I've seen and driven over bigger ones on the M5.

The picture looks like the pothole is on a single-track country lane somewhere - what do you expect - mirror-smooth road surfaces???

And it's a good 18 inches from the nearside of the road surface if the picture is any guide.

Get over it, Tansy, and consider yourself lucky that you have no more to **** about than a bloody pothole that cost you £216 - people round here have lost pretty much everything and their homes are still under water!

Rural life means roads like sheep tracks in places - it's never been any different. Get over it.
The whole UK road network is potholed - I've seen and driven over bigger ones on the M5. The picture looks like the pothole is on a single-track country lane somewhere - what do you expect - mirror-smooth road surfaces??? And it's a good 18 inches from the nearside of the road surface if the picture is any guide. Get over it, Tansy, and consider yourself lucky that you have no more to **** about than a bloody pothole that cost you £216 - people round here have lost pretty much everything and their homes are still under water! Rural life means roads like sheep tracks in places - it's never been any different. Get over it. Baldbloke
  • Score: 0

9:31pm Thu 27 Feb 14

MINIME2 says...

We were following a cyclist into North Petherton all of a sudden he was on the road in front of us we got out to see if he was OK his front wheel had gone intoa pothole full of water at least 10 inches deep around a drain. His handlebars sheared right off his bike. This was near the left turn into Broad lands. A lady came out and another motorist offered to take him home to Staunton. Had there been a lorry following him he would have been killed.I took pictures and reported it to the council we gave the young man our phone number and address but he has never contacted us. 2 days later the pothole was filled in.
We were following a cyclist into North Petherton all of a sudden he was on the road in front of us we got out to see if he was OK his front wheel had gone intoa pothole full of water at least 10 inches deep around a drain. His handlebars sheared right off his bike. This was near the left turn into Broad lands. A lady came out and another motorist offered to take him home to Staunton. Had there been a lorry following him he would have been killed.I took pictures and reported it to the council we gave the young man our phone number and address but he has never contacted us. 2 days later the pothole was filled in. MINIME2
  • Score: 0

10:58pm Thu 27 Feb 14

notasnarrowmindedasmost says...

Baldbloke wrote:
The whole UK road network is potholed - I've seen and driven over bigger ones on the M5.

The picture looks like the pothole is on a single-track country lane somewhere - what do you expect - mirror-smooth road surfaces???

And it's a good 18 inches from the nearside of the road surface if the picture is any guide.

Get over it, Tansy, and consider yourself lucky that you have no more to **** about than a bloody pothole that cost you £216 - people round here have lost pretty much everything and their homes are still under water!

Rural life means roads like sheep tracks in places - it's never been any different. Get over it.
Well put Baldbloke , seems now everyone is looking to claim for something . Try watching where you are going and drive to the road conditions .
[quote][p][bold]Baldbloke[/bold] wrote: The whole UK road network is potholed - I've seen and driven over bigger ones on the M5. The picture looks like the pothole is on a single-track country lane somewhere - what do you expect - mirror-smooth road surfaces??? And it's a good 18 inches from the nearside of the road surface if the picture is any guide. Get over it, Tansy, and consider yourself lucky that you have no more to **** about than a bloody pothole that cost you £216 - people round here have lost pretty much everything and their homes are still under water! Rural life means roads like sheep tracks in places - it's never been any different. Get over it.[/p][/quote]Well put Baldbloke , seems now everyone is looking to claim for something . Try watching where you are going and drive to the road conditions . notasnarrowmindedasmost
  • Score: 2

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