A motorist has threatened legal action against the council after claims his car sustained more than £12,000 in damages from potholes.

Alex Smillie said he wants Bucks Council to pay thousands in damages “before legal proceedings start” after his Audi RS3 (8P) sustained “significant” damage while driving along Church Road in Penn.

The 26-year-old tennis coach from Hazlemere claimed the worst of the damage was done outside the Crown Inn but that the road, and others nearby, are in total disrepair.

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Bucks Free Press:

Church Road

He said the car has a broken gearbox and front differential and that the flywheel may also be damaged.

Mr Smillie said his car had to be recovered when it made a “horrendous grinding sound” after hitting the potholes on Church Road.

The council said Church Road will undergo improvement next year.

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“After hitting the potholes along the failed road surface, I had a number of warning lights immediately come up on the dash,” said Mr Smillie.

“The car went into limp mode and started to make a horrendous grinding sound.

“After getting the car recovered by the AA, the mechanical garage have informed me that my car sustained significant damage. It has a broken gearbox and front differential and potentially a damaged flywheel. The estimated cost of damages is £12,433.”

Bucks Free Press:

Alex and his car

Bucks Free Press: He added: “The state of the roads around Penn and the surrounding area are shocking and, frankly, dangerous. They are in a total state of disrepair.

“There were no signs up on the day of the incident to warn motorists.

“I have reported the potholes and failed road surface on Fix My Street to alert the council but [also] to warn other motorists.

“I want the council to pay in full for damages to my vehicle and admit liability before legal proceedings start.”

Cllr Steven Broadbent, cabinet member for transport said: “This stretch of road is due to undergo significant improvement work planned for next year.

“Overall, we have 3,200km of road in the county to maintain, so while we carry out regular inspection work, we also need residents and motorists to report any defects they see via the Fix My Street form on our website – it’s quick and easy to do and all reports are investigated by our transport team; any which pose a safety risk are treated first.

“We cannot comment on individual claims, but we are sorry to learn of any case where damage is caused to a vehicle.

“There is a mechanism for motorists to report and claim for damages, details of which are on our website.

“Obviously, we do our utmost to ensure our heavily used roads are in a safe condition for all road users and we are currently investing £100 million over four years in a major road improvement plan across the whole county.”

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