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Pothole payout could spell woe for councils

Councils will be shaking in their boots after a man successfully took his local authority to court after his car was damaged by potholes. The £2000 payout sets a precedents for other drivers with similar claims.

Hamilton Bland decided to go to court after his local council refused to take responsibility for the damage done to his Mercedes.

The damage to the car occurred during the big freeze of January 2010, with the 68-year-old former sports commentator arguing that the impact of hitting two potholes was so severe that, after consulting with a tyre company, it was deemed neccessary to replace three of the wheels of his car, at a cost of £1,900.

Mr Bland, who submitted 80 photos of the road in support of his claim, said: 'Taking the council to court was a risk I was prepared to take. I always felt I was right – you don't have to be the world's greatest detective to know the road had some dangerous potholes. Had a cyclist hit one of the potholes it would have been very serious indeed.

'The bottom line is the council underestimated the amount of money needed to repair the roads. The council didn't want me to win but now the judge has approved the claim it opens the door for everyone else in similar situations.

'It was a long hard slog and I did a lot of research but I was determined to challenge what was obviously a fault of the council.

'I formed the opinion that the council could not afford to lose this case as it could open the door for similar claims. "I'm delighted to see Charter Avenue and many other roads have been totally resurfaced and I sincerely hope they will not fall into disrepair because of under investment in the future.'

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