A DRIVER is asking the council to pay up after a giant pothole seriously damaged his car.

Jason Mageehan was driving his BMW 3 Series along Ardleigh Road, Little Bromley, at midnight when he hit the pothole at the side of the road.

It ruined his tyres, alloys and suspension and he reported the road to Essex County Council.

He made an insurance claim, saying he wanted the council to contribute towards the repair of his car.

He said: “I’d been over to a friend’s for the evening and was driving home.

“As I was driving along, there was a massive bang, I knew I’d run over something - it felt like perhaps I’d run over a brick.

“I got out, used my phone torch to look around and found nothing.

“My car drove home and it wasn’t happy to go above 15mph - I went back the following day in my wife’s car and saw the pothole.”

He reported it to Essex Highways via the online portal, and then filed a claim once he had it repaired.

He said: “I needed one alloy wheel re-furbishing as it was completely misshapen, and two new tyres.

“The car also needs some suspension work doing which I’m awaiting a quote on but damage likely to exceed £500 in total.”

A response from the council said it accepted it did not meet the statutory duty to maintain the highway.

However, it went on to say there is a defence if the council can prove it has taken reasonable steps to ensure the highway was not dangerous.

Mr Mageehan said: “This pothole is a danger to driver’s safety and other people’s property, yet apparently the last routine safety inspection of the road was completed on September 1.

“Even if the council would just give a contribution that would be fine.”

The response said during that inspection, no defect which was considered to be dangerous was found.

The council did say Ardleigh Road has been categorised as requiring annual inspections.

It added: “We appreciate the accident will have been of concern to you.

“However, for the reasons set out above, the council does not accept any liability in respect of your claim and will, therefore, not be processing the matter any further.

“We note your comments regarding the funding of the further repairs required to your vehicle and would suggest that you contact your vehicle insurers regarding these.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said the road is classified as a ‘Local Road’, meaning it is inspected routinely once a year. added: “Potholes can develop between inspections and we repair higher-risk defects as we are made aware of them by the public through our website “Once we were made aware of this pothole, our crews visited the site to make an urgent repair on Friday.”