Car damage is just pot luck

Pot holes that have provoked danger and damage have been slammed as ‘atrocious’ by a man whose car suffered £2,800 worth of damage.

Adam Bradley, 19, of Bideford Green, Linslade, was driving his newly-purchased BMW Coupe along the A4146 in Leighton Buzzard when he got more than he bargained for on a normal trip to his friend’s house.

Pot hole on roundabout of A4146 between Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes

Pot hole on roundabout of A4146 between Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes

Adam said: “I had been driving on the outside lane, but as a car came up behind me I pulled into the nearside and as I did I hit a huge pot hole.

“My head hit the top of the car and the steering started to shake. I pulled over to see the damage, but I thought it looked OK, although it was dark.

“The next day I took my car into the garage to get it checked out and they said the tracking would have to be readjusted along with the toe and camber.

“But I soon noticed there was still a problem so when I went back they looked and found the four wheels were bent out of shape, so two were replaced and two are in need of repair.

“It’s awful and atrocious that the road is in that state after I called to complained four or five times last year before this happened.

“The fact that I will now have to drive on the outside lane to avoid further damage to my car is dangerous and just ridiculous.”

But Adam isn’t the only person who has been affected by the various potholes on the Leighton Buzzard bypass.

Phil Campbell, 61, who lived in Linslade for 30 years before moving to Tring in 2010, was appalled by his journey on the A4146 to Milton Keynes.

Phil said: “Since living in Tring any trip to MK and beyond has involved travelling on the bypass, and despite ‘soft verges’ being churned up, generally the road surface has been OK, until I drove on it last weekend.

“It was literally like a rally course, having to weave from side to side in the slow lane to avoid all the pot holes, some dangerously big.

“I think if I’d sat there and just gone and bumped through them all, by the time I’d reached MK there would have been some serious damage to my tyres or suspension as I drive a very ordinary Ford Focus Cmax. The journey back was almost as bad.

“I reckon most regular drivers on this route stay in the fast lane as there seems to be less damage to the road surface there. But that’s not good road practice is it? Things like that just cause driver impatience and ‘undertaking’.

A Transport for Buckinghamshire spokesman said: “The surface laid at time of construction on the Stoke Hammond bypass was SMA (Stone Mastic Asphalt). This surfacing material has several positive safety properties – reduced spray; better dispersing of surface water; and noise reduction. However these properties can reduce the life of the surface.

“Pothole repairs and patching works have been taking place this week, in advance of a surface dressing programme to seal the road later this summer which will help prevent further deterioration in future years. We also made use of the lane closures and carried out extra work to clean gullies, carry out sign repairs and refresh some white lining.

“Regards to the claim for damage to Mr Bradley’s car, all claims for damage or injuries relating to potholes are dealt with on an individual basis. Every case is different. Each claim is assessed by a team of claims handlers and dealt with as appropriate.”