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Otterhampton woman locked in pothole battle with Somerset County Council
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.”