Burnley mum awarded damages of over £600 from Lancashire County Council after her car damaged by pothole

Lancashire County Council was ordered to pay over 600 to Mrs Sarah Holden after her car was damaged by a pothole in Burnley.
Lancashire County Council was ordered to pay over 600 to Mrs Sarah Holden after her car was damaged by a pothole in Burnley.

A Burnley mum of three has been awarded damages of over £600 from Lancashire County Council for the repair of her car after it was damaged by a pothole.

A judge at Burnley County Court ordered the authority to make the payment, totalling £635, to Mrs Sarah Holden to replace the bumper and tyre of her vehicle after it was damaged by a pothole in Burnham Gate, outside the entrance to McDonald's restaurant.

Mrs Holden, who is 45, said: "This feels like a victory and I hope it encourages other people who may have experienced this to have the courage to take a stand like I did.

"The damage caused to my car was not my fault, so I didn't feel that I should have to pay for the repairs when I work hard and pay taxes for our roads to be kept in a good state."

A self employed acupuncturist, Mrs Holden, who lives with her husband Gavin who is an estimates manager, was driving into Burnley town centre in March last year when her car hit the pothole, an experience she described as 'like hitting a wall.'

She said: "It really shook me up and I dreaded to look at the damage. When I did examine it the tyre was all bubbled and the bumper scratched and displaced."

She immediately drove to the office of the former Burnley MP Mrs Julie Cooper in the town centre and staff advised Mrs Holden, who is mum to sons Daniel (27) 17-year-old Thomas and Oliver who is 11, to make a complaint to Lancashire County Council.

The payment to Mrs Holden, who also has a 15-month-old grandson Avery, included £140 costs after the case was heard at the county court last month.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We have a robust regime in place for inspecting our roads to ensure that any safety issues such as potholes are picked up and repaired in a timely manner.

"How often we inspect each road is based on an assessment of risk, ranging from monthly inspections for the busiest roads and pavements, to annual inspections for the quietest roads.

"Following the judgement in this case we updated our assessment for Burnham Gate and, due to usage of the road having increased, we now carry out inspections four times a year.

"We'd ask people to use our online Report It tool to let us know about any highway issues so that we can carry out an inspection and take any action which may be needed."