Pothole car damages cost council more

Picture by Paul Calloway SUS-150227-144115001
Picture by Paul Calloway SUS-150227-144115001

The number of people who have successfully claimed compensation after their vehicles were damaged by potholes in Crawley has doubled.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that, in 2012/13, West Sussex County Council paid out £48,530 to 260 people – 18 from Crawley.

In 2013/14 the damages rose to £53,206 to 272 people and the Crawley claimants had doubled to 36.

A council spokesman blamed “successive bad winters and flooding” as being a factor in the increased number of claims.

Paul Callaway, who took this picture of a large pothole in Orchard Street, said he did not think the council was keeping on top of the town’s problem.

Paul, 39, said he had hit numerous potholes over the years resulting in slow punctures and “chunks” being taken out of his car rims.

He was also concerned about the long-term damage caused to his car’s suspension and steering.

Paul called on people to report any pothole problems to the council to enable them to be dealt with sooner.

He said: “I drive all over town every day and there are terrible roads all over Crawley.

“Driving can be dangerous enough as it is, without having to be constantly looking out for potholes rather than keeping our eyes on the road ahead.”

Paul added: “I know the council doesn’t have a bottomless pit of money, but they need to fix the holes far far sooner. If they are fixed sooner, they won’t get as big or spread across the road.

“It’s not just the potholes themselves, its the road surface all around it that gets worse.”

To report a pothole, log on to love.westsussex.gov.uk or call 01243 642105.