Former Derbyshire police response driver's pothole compensation battle with council

The pothole struck by a former police response driver in Derbyshire.
The pothole struck by a former police response driver in Derbyshire.

A former Derbyshire police emergency response driver is “angered” and “frustrated” after being told a council will not pay out for the damage caused to his car by a large pothole.

Mark Brunelleschi, 54, hit the substantial pothole at Morley while driving to work in his Ford Fiesta.

Mark Brunelleschi is seeking compensation after hitting a huge pothole on a Derbyshire road.

Mark Brunelleschi is seeking compensation after hitting a huge pothole on a Derbyshire road.

The cavity, which was around three feet in diameter and three to four inches deep, had been near the Mr Pumpkin Farm and Derby College Broomfield Hall Campus on the A608/Mansfield Road.

It has now been filled in by Derbyshire County Council, but this was a day late for Mr Brunelleschi, who hit the pothole on his way to work from his Breadsall Hilltop home at 2.30am.

It damaged the alloy on Mr Brunelleschi’s Ford Fiesta, which now needs replacing – which he says would cost around £300.

However, the county council has told the former police officer that it will not be paying out any compensation for the damage.

Mr Brunelleschi, a security guard at bike manufacturing giant Raleigh in Eastwood, said: “I was going to work at 2.30am, because I start work at 3am, and I heard a big thud, I thought my wheel had exploded at the time.

“The pothole was about three foot long and three to four inches deep.

“When I rang the council to report it, they said they had numerous reports about it – and it was repaired the next day.

“But I have been told that they will not be paying compensation for the damage to my car.

“When I had got out of the car and looked at the damage I thought it might just be a puncture or a flat tyre, but when I went to the garage they said that the alloy had buckled.

“I didn’t have a spare wheel so I had to pay for a space saver, which I have been driving around on, but of course you can only drive up to 50mph.

“I’ll have to pay £300 for a new alloy.

“The way I see it, this happened through no fault of my own. You pay your taxes so they can pay out for this sort of thing. The damage to my alloy was caused by a pothole that they are responsible for.

“It is money I shouldn’t be forking out.”

Mr Brunelleschi said that he was late for work as a result of the incident.

He said he was “angered” and “frustrated” after being told he would not be compensated.

Mr Brunelleschi said: “It it not my fault, it is down to the council and their highways department.

“This could have been much worse too, especially if it had been a cyclist or a motorbike rider.”

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “This pothole was first reported to us on Saturday 26 October and fixed on Tuesday 29 October – within the target for this type of pothole.

"This road is inspected every month and was last inspected on 11 October when no defects needing immediate attention were recorded.

"This claim was turned down because the council considered this road had been inspected, as required, and was not therefore negligent. Since January 1 2019 we have fixed 48, 435 potholes.”