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Claims for damage caused by potholes across Sussex
Hundreds of angry motorists are demanding compensation for damage to their cars caused by deep potholes.
Local authorities across Sussex have been swamped with claims from frustrated drivers complaining of popped tyres and broken wheels.
After this year’s cold spell, drivers are battling a “pothole epidemic” on the county’s crumbling roads – with thousands of new cracks and craters reported every week.
West Sussex County Council has received 170 pothole claims since December 1, while East Sussex County Council has received 385 claims this year relating to highways.
Garage owners said the number of cars with pothole damage had soared during this year’s cold spell.
Dave Prior, manager of Newhaven Car Services, said the problems this year had been “especially bad”.
He said: “I have never done as many tyres due to potholes.
“Sometimes they damage the tyres and sometimes they can break the alloys. Each wheel costs around £215, so that’s very expensive for most people.
“It can blow the tyre and completely take the car off the road, so it’s certainly a dangerous situation.”
At Bells Garage in Brighton, the office manager said lots of customers had been coming in with pothole-damaged cars.
She said: “Within the last five months, it’s been very bad.
“We have had customers with serious damage to their wheels and alloys and if you have to replace the rim it can be very costly.”
Brighton and Hove City Council said it had received ten claims for pothole damage since December.
Town hall bosses blamed freezing temperatures and wet weather for the crisis and promised millions of pounds would be spent repairing the damage.
Since the crisis began, East Sussex County Council has increased the number of pothole repair gangs from eight to 24 – with 500 holes now repaired every day.
West Sussex County Council said it continues to do “everything it can” to fix the cracks and trenches.
Repair crews will be working in Telham Lane in Battle today (February 27) and Swing Gate Hill, Witherenden Hill and Station Hill in Stonegate on Thursday, February 28, Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March2.
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