Hole lot of trouble for couple
A FELIXSTOWE couple today slammed road chiefs for shirking responsibility over the state of the A14 after they narrowly avoided a rush-hour smash.Jenny Shiress, 33, of Kendal Road, was driving from the resort to Ipswich over the Orwell Bridge when her Fiat Punto crashed into a large hole in the carriageway.
A FELIXSTOWE couple today slammed road chiefs for shirking responsibility over the state of the A14 after they narrowly avoided a rush-hour smash.
Jenny Shiress, 33, of Kendal Road, was driving from the resort to Ipswich over the Orwell Bridge when her Fiat Punto crashed into a large hole in the carriageway.
Her husband John, 34, who was also in the car, said: "We were driving to Ipswich at around 8.15am on August 7 when all of a sudden we hit this massive hole. We didn't see it at the time but the following day I drove over the bridge and saw how big it was.
"It was about 3ft square and there was nothing we could do to avoid it.
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"There was a loud bang and the car swerved toward the middle of the road. We're lucky that the tyre didn't blow or we really would have been in trouble."
The couple only realised the extent of the damage when they examined their car at Mr Shiress's work in Wherstead Road.
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A front alloy wheel was cracked in the crash and its rim was buckled.
Mr Shiress had a new wheel fitted and sent the bill to the Highways Agency who he assumed were responsible for the damage.
Six weeks later he received a letter from the agency stating they were not liable so would not be sending him any money.
Mr Shiress said: "I am very angry as the accident was not our fault. It has cost us £140 to fix the damage, not to mention having to wait six days for a new one to arrive."
"The Agency are making us feel like we are trying to fleece them. But I didn't even put in for a new tyre as I was advised in order to keep the cost down. It makes me so mad. They don't seem to be taking any responsibility for the roads."
A spokesman from the Highways Agency said: "Our enquiries do not show that there has been any negligence on the part of the highway authority.
"Atkins, our agents for this stretch of road inspect the carriageway on a weekly basis to ensure that it is safe for road users.
"At the time of Atkins last inspection, the day before the accident, no defects were found.
"Atkins have confirmed that as soon as they became aware of the defect they took the necessary steps to rectify it. Temporary works were completed the following day and a permanent repair is due to be carried out this weekend. "
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