ANGRY motorists whose cars have been damaged by a “crater” in Northumberland could cost a council thousands of pounds.
A pothole said to have been 4ft wide appeared on the main road into Rothbury on Monday. As many as 28 cars which hit it have apparently been damaged.
Anger has been voiced at the time taken by highways authority Northumberland County Council to fill the hole.
Now, it could be facing a bill for thousands of pounds as those motorists prepare to lodge claims with the authority for the cost of repairs.
The hole on the B6341, which links Rothbury with the A697 at New Moor House crossroads, first appeared on Monday.
County councillor for Rothbury Steven Bridgett says the hole grew to approximately 4ft wide at one point and likened it to a “crater”.
Coun Bridgett has had 16 complaints from motorists who hit the hole after failing to spot it until the last minute on the unlit road. He believes 28 cars have been damaged in total.
County council road bosses were made aware of the hole by officers from Northumbria Police, who attended the scene after cars were damaged.
Workers have now put in a temporary repair to the pothole, with a longer lasting solution to follow.
But Coun Bridgett said the authority should have repaired the hole earlier given that it was first spotted on Monday.
Inspections of the route are supposed to take place every day as it is now the main road into the village, following the closure of the B6344 after a landslip.
Coun Bridgett is encouraging people whose cars were damaged to lodge claims with the authority for the cost of repairs.
He said claims could run to thousands of pounds in all. It should never have been allowed to get to that stage,” the councillor added. “It is the main road out of Coquetdale, it should be made a priority.
“If the council has been negligent in carrying out repairs, those residents may have a case.”
Jan Todd, who is reliant on a scooter due to a disability, was one of those to suffer damage.
Mrs Todd, 55, who lives on a farm at Thropton, drives a motability vehicle which is equipped with a hoist for lifting her scooter.
The vehicle’s tyre and wheel suffered more than £1,000 of damage and it is likely to be off the road for two weeks.
Mrs Todd faces being housebound until her vehicle is repaired.
She uses it to collect morphine from a pharmacy, a task her husband will have to take time off work to do instead.
Mrs Todd, who also says the jolt she received when her car hit the pothole worsened the pain she already suffers, declared: “I am very angry.
“I get enough pain without getting extra pain because they can not be bothered to fill a pothole.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We have been carrying out temporary repairs since yesterday and we made the road safe for vehicles.
“We have some patching work planned for the next few days that will be a more permanent solution to the defects.
“The local highway inspector is inspecting the road at least once a day.
“And yesterday he inspected that section of road three times at 9am, 11am and 3pm.”
We have been carrying out temporary repairs since yesterday and we made the road safe for vehicles