Little pothole causes big damage

Charly Rhodes at home with 18 mth Brendon. Refshs 09-16TI 1874. Picture: Terry Ife

Charly Rhodes at home with 18 mth Brendon. Refshs 09-16TI 1874. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A mum’s damaged car ground to a halt on a roundabout after she hit a pothole.

Charly Rhodes was driving down Manstone Lane with her 18-month-old baby and did not realise anything had happened until seconds after the impact when a tyre ‘went bang’.

With baby Brendon in the car, she carried on driving and got as far as the Manstone Lane roundabout before she became completely stuck.

“If it wasn’t for the two young gentlemen passing and the help of the petrol station [staff] I really would have been stuck,” she said.

“With one lad driving my car to the petrol station and the other stopping traffic, they saved the life of myself and my baby, and any more damage to my car.”

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The Sedemuda Close resident also thanked the manager of Sidmouth Self Serve, who took responsibility for her immobile Ford Focus until it could be recovered.

Miss Rhodes had hit a pothole about two inches deep that runs the length of a speed hump. The repair cost has been quoted at £400.

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The 33-year-old has reported the incident to Devon County Council (DCC) and said: “They have said they may not take responsibility as they weren’t aware of it – unfortunately it’s not until damage occurs, and potentially a dangerous accident with a vehicle, that it gets reported.

“It’s not good enough in my eyes – we pay road tax for safety and not endangerment to us or our vehicles.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s highways chief, said road tax is not handed over for repairs – and the Government’s payment to the authority is £21million short of the £64million needed to maintain the network this year.

He added: “DCC and our insurers investigate claims, but compensation can only be offered where there is evidence that the council may be held at fault in law.”

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