Stockton driver told to find 'exact pothole' that damaged car

Trevor Kay has been told he has to pinpoint the pothole which damaged his car to claim back cash for repairs. Credit: LDRS/Gareth Lightfoot

A driver has been told he has to pinpoint the pothole which damaged his car to claim back cash for repairs.

Trevor Kay, 66, said his two passenger-side tyres were punctured when he drove on a road which had up to 10 pot holes.

Mr Kay, a retired steel erector and former soldier, said he had tried to claim money back from Stockton Borough Council to repair the damage - but was told he needs to identify the precise hole which burst the tyres.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I turned into Boathouse Lane near the Arriva bus station. As I turned along both my near-side tyres popped.

“I pulled over straight away. I got out of the car and looked and I had two punctures on the left hand side.

“I walked back up the street to where it happened, five or 10 yards, and there’s all these potholes. Straight away I phoned the council. I took photographs of the potholes.”

Potholes on Boathouse Lane, Stockton where Trevor Kay, 66, says two of his car\'s tyres were popped. Credit: LDRS/Gareth Lightfoot

He had the two tyres replaced and submitted a claim for £90 to the council, but was then asked for more information.

In emails seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Kay said he did not know which of the numerous potholes caused the damage. He was told in response: “I appreciate that you may be unsure as to which pothole caused the damage, but unfortunately for us to consider your claim, it is a requirement to identify the exact defect which caused the damage.

“If you are unable to identify where exactly it occurred, we will not be able to investigate and provide a response to your claim.”

Mr Kay said: “I have to tell them exactly which pothole I hit out of about eight or 10, which is absolutely ridiculous. When you turn a corner you don’t know exactly where potholes are.

“If I can’t identify exactly which pothole I hit, I’ve got no claim. It’s just totally wrong."

A Stockton Council spokesman said: “We are required by law to ask claimants to provide information on the specific defect which has caused damage to a vehicle.

“However, as the damage in Mr Kay’s claim may have been caused by two potholes close together, the claim is not closed and the matter has been referred to the highways team for further investigation. We will be in touch with Mr Kay soon to progress matters.”

The council said Boathouse Lane has been inspected and defects on the road have been marked for repair work to be carried out.

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