Pothole misery for motorists is boosting business for garage

PUBLISHED: 13:21 10 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:53 16 June 2010

P7029-06-10AW Pot hole story, 8/02/10. Graham Hartnell (work shop foreman at Norcombe Valeting garage, Queen Street Seaton), working on a car that has come in with damaged suspension due to pot hole damage. Pic by Alex Walton

P7029-06-10AW Pot hole story, 8/02/10. Graham Hartnell (work shop foreman at Norcombe Valeting garage, Queen Street Seaton), working on a car that has come in with damaged suspension due to pot hole damage. Pic by Alex Walton

Copyright Archant Ltd

A SEATON pensioner claims he has spent hundreds of pounds on car repair bills - because of potholes in local roads.

A SEATON pensioner claims he has spent hundreds of pounds on car repair bills - because of potholes in local roads.

Clifford Barnard has hit out at Devon County Council plans to introduce on-street parking in the town, saying they should first provide better services.

He said, in recent months, he has spent nearly £600 on new suspension and suspension struts for his 27-year-old Maestro, £80 on new tyres and was horrified when rubble from damaged roads chipped the car's windscreen.

He said: "We are paying car tax so we should have the finest roads in the world. Instead, Devon has the worst in the country."

Jeremy Norcombe, from Norcombe Valeting, in Queen Street, said he has seen a significant increase in recent months of vehicles needing to be repaired because of damage done by potholes.

He said: "In the last couple of months we have worked on a far higher amount of coil springs, punctured tyres and damaged wheels. Whereas before we used to repair one to two coils a month, now we are doing two to three a week.

"Potholes are definitely a problem. With rain, snow and ice, people don't see them. It can be dangerous as sometimes the tyre wears out on the inside edge and it's not always noticed, so it can cause sudden deflation."

A Devon County Council spokesman said: "Anyone who believes their vehicle has been damaged or has been injured whilst using the road has the right to submit a claim, but this does not mean there is an automatic right to receive compensation."

She said it was necessary to prove the road had not been properly maintained and was the direct cause of the incident.

She added the council would have legal defence if it could show it took reasonable steps to ensure the road was reasonably maintained - with regular inspections, maintenance works and repairs.

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