A MOTORIST who claims his car was damaged by a pothole near Newquay is calling on Cornwall Council to pay his £100 repair bill.
Retired marketing and PR executive Howard Vaughan, of St Newlyn East, said the route at Fiddlers Green was a "major hazard" and he was lucky nobody was injured as a result of the incident.
He has written to Cornwall Council chief executive Kevin Lavery asking the authority to pay for a new tyre after his was shredded by the pothole.
Mr Vaughan said: "Although highways filled in the potholes to this particular road in the summer it has deteriorated to such an extent that the road is now a hazard to motorists.
"I know that conditions vary, due to the prolonged wet conditions, but I did not expect to experience a potentially dangerous incident.
"We suddenly felt this tremendous bump, followed by a grinding noise. Although modern cars are designed to cope with blow-outs, the car veered violently to the right.
"The near-side tyre was completely shredded around the rim of the wheel."
Mr Vaughan measured the offending pothole at 1.4m (4ft 7in) long, 49cm (1ft 7in) wide and 19cm (7½ in) deep.
"The sides are not only deep, but have jagged edges," he said. "It's not as if my tyres were worn, as the car has only done just over 9,500 miles."
Between April and December last year Cornwall Council repaired 6,000 potholes. Recent floods also caused £3 million damage to highways. It said priority was to identify and repair potholes and damage to principal routes.
Its recent capital allocation of £4.8 million from the Department for Transport was to improve the highway network and not for day-to-day maintenance.
Mr Vaughan said: "I pay my road tax along with millions of motorists; the budget is massive. Blaming bad weather is an excuse, the roads are not fit for purpose. There's an old saying – they should save for a rainy day."
Anyone who has sustained vehicle damage and considers the council has failed to maintain the highway road surface can make a compensation claim by calling 0300 1234 100 or by visiting www.cornwall.gov.uk