A driver recently claimed a pothole the size of a dustbin lid that caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to his BMW is the most dangerous in Devon. Have you spotted one bigger in your local area?
For me, dodging the potholes leading to my family home in the Vale of Glamorgan is almost part and parcel of knowing home is just around the next bend.
And while the driver in Devon claimed that his dustbin lid-sized pothole was the most dangerous in the county, I reckon some of the larger potholes en route to our village could be contenders for being the most dangerous in the area.
When I spoke to my stepdad about the state of the local roads, he moaned how much worse they had become and then told me that he felt despondent about going through the process of reporting them to the council.
With each of the four two-mile stretches of lanes leading in out of the village peppered with potholes, he reckoned it would more than likely take him several days to photograph them all.
A fair point, I thought. But I reminded him that if he did nothing and later sustained damage to his car as a result of a pothole, he might struggle to claim.
He gave a resigned sigh and recalled when one had caused damage to his wheel arches.
Why you should report potholes
So why is it so important to inform the council if you spot a pothole? Well, your chances of claiming compensation often depends on whether a pothole has already been reported.
Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides councils with a statutory defence if they can show that reasonable care was taken to secure the road and that it wasn’t dangerous to traffic.
In other words, if the local authority knew about the pothole but hasn’t repaired it, or hasn’t followed road maintenance guidelines, you may be able to claim compensation. But if it’s gone unreported, you may not have a claim.
Is your area affected?
Potholes are one of the definite drawbacks of living in a rural Welsh village – not to mention the speed at which people hurtle across them causing the pothole to steadily grow.
I probably don’t need to tell you that Wales does tend to live up to its rainy reputation as well, which serves to feed and breed potholes in as many numbers as there are rabbits in the surrounding waterlogged fields.
When we last spoke to you about potholes, our poll found that 53% of you had sustained damage to your vehicle as a result of driving over a pothole. But I’m wondering how many of you actually reported it to the council?
Have you seen a pothole larger than a dustbin lid in your area recently? Have you reported it? If not, what’s stopping you?