'Potholes wrecked my car' claims OAP

PUBLISHED: 14:19 18 May 2010 | UPDATED: 01:14 16 June 2010

IRIS Rudrum with the shock garage bill.

IRIS Rudrum with the shock garage bill.

A PENSIONER, who is adamant potholes in a country lane leading to her home wrecked her car, says she is dismayed she will have to wait up to 10 days for a compensation form – with no guarantee that she will receive a payout.

A PENSIONER, who is adamant potholes in a country lane leading to her home wrecked her car, says she is dismayed she will have to wait up to 10 days for a compensation form - with no guarantee that she will receive a payout.

Iris Rudrum, who lives near Wilmington, was landed with a £445 garage bill and blames the expense on Devon County Council.

"I know of five other people who have put in claims for damage caused by potholes in the same area," the 70-year-old told the Midweek Herald. "The council has been too slow to repair potholes.

"My M-reg Renault Clio needed a new steering rack, anti-roll bar links and strut mounting, as well as tracking.

"I am a very careful driver and only travel 3,000 miles a year in my car."

Mrs Rudrum said: "No matter how slow you go, you are just going straight down a hole.

"I contacted the council and was told a claim form would arrive in 10 days, with no guarantee I'll receive a payout. The council is quick enough to ask for council tax."

Mrs Rudrum says the bill was a shock and would be hard to meet from her pension.

"I don't use my car an awful lot, but I couldn't manage without it."

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "We are working hard to keep roads safe and, in our recent blitz, 85,000 potholes were repaired in 2009/10 - more than four times the amount of pothole repairs during a normal year. We regularly inspect our 8,000 mile network, which is the biggest highway network of any authority in the country, and a £7 million repair programme is under way.

"It is Devon County Council policy to investigate claims but compensation can only be offered where there is evidence that the Council may be held at fault in law."

? Potholes and safety defects on the county's roads can be reported online at www.devon.gov.uk or by calling 0845 155 1004.

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