A FRUSTRATED driver has hit out at council “negligence” after being forced to fork out nearly £1,000 on repairs due to his car being damaged by potholes.

Nick Barrance, from Wivenhoe, has said over the last couple of months he has had to replace three tyres which became unroadworthy after hitting potholes. 

He says he has encountered three large potholes which damaged his vehicle, in Rowhedge Road, Brightlingsea Road and Cymbeline Way.

One impact with a pothole even resulted in one of his alloy wheels being damaged which he has not been able to get repaired.

Gazette: Frustrated - Nick BarranceFrustrated - Nick Barrance (Image: Public)
“I was going into Rowhedge and there were two potholes adjacent to each other near the welcome sign,” he said.

“I pulled over instantly and saw other drivers coming in and out of the village crawling past them to avoid similar damage.

“That happened towards the end of November, and I believe the council was made aware of the potholes earlier that month.

“Other ones since then were in Brightlingsea Road, coming out of the town, which I think has been there for a considerable amount of time, and in Cymbeline Way coming out of Colchester, which was an enormous impact.

Gazette: Deep - the pothole in Brightlingsea RoadDeep - the pothole in Brightlingsea Road (Image: Public)

“The frustration isn’t just because of potholes, but it is the general state of the roads and how they have been left to get like this.

“There are too many significant ones not being dealt with.”

Mr Barrance, who says he has paid out nearly £1,000 in repair bills, has raised the issue with councillors and the MP.

He said claims for damages have been “default refused” despite “obvious negligence” by the council in carrying out “adequate repairs”.

Gazette: Damage - Nick was forced to replace three tyres after pothole damagesDamage - Nick was forced to replace three tyres after pothole damages (Image: Public)

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “After being contacted by the resident concerned, Councillor Bentley is looking into the issue.

“All compensation claims made to Essex County Council are investigated fully, and damages are paid if the council has been liable.

“The majority of claims are successfully defended because we are rigorous in our maintenance of the road network to protect taxpayers’ money.

“In order to maximise our resources, we have to fix the most urgent issues first, however, all defects reported to us are assessed by an inspector.

“We therefore encourage members of the public to report any defects or issues they find through our online Tell Us tool at essexhighways.org/tell-us

“Information about our repair criteria and maintenance strategy can also be found at: essexhighways.org/how-we-prioritise-highway-issues.”