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Penwood resident Steve Bailey battles with Hampshire County Council for nearly a year over £294 A343 pothole claim





A man who had his car damaged by a pesky pothole last January has spent nearly a year battling with the council to get compensation.

Steve Bailey, a Penwood resident who works in Andover, regularly travels to and from his place of employment on the A343—better known as the Andover Road.

The busy A road has been the site of several potholes in recent years, with one Ball Hill resident describing travelling on it as “like driving in a third world country”.

The pothole on the A343 near Highclere on the morning of January 18, 2023
The pothole on the A343 near Highclere on the morning of January 18, 2023

One hotspot has been just south of The Pheasant pub near Highclere, where the same pothole—which last year measured seven metres long, one metre wide and 32 centimetres deep at its deepest point—that terrorised drivers in January 2023 returned this year to strike again.

Mr Bailey—along with several other motorists—had his car damaged by this pothole on January 17 last year when he was driving home from work.

He was driving along the road in a queue of traffic before hearing a “horrible noise”. The following morning he discovered that one of his tyres had burst, a tyre that he had only purchased and fitted to his car two weeks prior.

The 2023 pothole that damaged Mr Bailey’s car measured seven metres long, one metre wide and 32 centimetres deep at its deepest point
The 2023 pothole that damaged Mr Bailey’s car measured seven metres long, one metre wide and 32 centimetres deep at its deepest point

Replacing the burst tyre cost him £294, and on March 3 he contacted Hampshire County Council to try and claim back the money that the poor road conditions had caused.

As part of the claim process, he had to get photographic evidence of the pothole, and so he stood by his car in the middle of the busy road with his hazards on in order to do so.

He criticised this part of the claim process and said: “You just have to stand in the road and hope cars don’t hit you.”

He received a response five months later stating that the council wouldn’t be paying out the claim because an inspection was carried out on that stretch of road six days prior to his car being damaged and no defects were found.

The pothole returned almost exactly a year later at the same spot
The pothole returned almost exactly a year later at the same spot

Mr Bailey was also told that the council carried out repairs to the road on January 6.

He is frustrated that Hampshire County Council views work carried out on January 6 as adequate, as his car and many others were damaged 11 days later on January 17 and emergency repairs were carried out to fill in the pothole on the following day.

He said: “I think it is unacceptable.

Two victims of the 2023 pothole had to be parked in The Pheasant's car park overnight
Two victims of the 2023 pothole had to be parked in The Pheasant's car park overnight

“If you bought a product and it lasted 11 days you would take it back to wherever you got it from and either ask for another one or be completely put off the product.

“But as road users, we don’t have that choice. We have to commute and travel from one point to another.

“This is why I haven’t let it go and why I have dug my heels in a bit.”

Although the council’s refusal to pay out the near £300 claim has angered him, Mr Bailey is mainly concerned with the repetitive work it is doing on the road that he views as deficient.

He added: “It’s like a circle of filling in the same hole. It’s happened again at the start of this year because of the weather.

“The work they’re carrying out is not satisfactory to last against the conditions the road comes up against.

“Why keep doing the same?”

Mr Bailey is still communicating with the council to try and argue his case and win the claim.

Hampshire County Council has been approached for comment.



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