A health visitor from St Albans has been "left high and dry" after a pothole "destroyed" her car.

The motorist, who did not wish to be named, was travelling home from a community care visit on Tuesday, January 23, when she drove into the flooded pothole.

"The road was heavily flooded as there had been heavy rain that day," she told the Herts Ad

"As I approached Bridge Cottage, there was a large pool of water which I drove through cautiously.

"As I did, my car dipped down into the road on the right hand side and I heard an awful noise.

"As I drove out of the pool to inspect my car, a man in a white van stopped to see if I was OK, and reported that there was a large pothole under the pool of water that can’t be seen due to the flooding, and that his car tyre was destroyed by it the previous week.

"There were no warnings about this hole on the road, or the flooding.

Herts Advertiser: The pothole on Sandridgebury Lane, between St Albans and Sandridge.The pothole on Sandridgebury Lane, between St Albans and Sandridge. (Image: Supplied)

"On further inspection of my car, I could see that the back right wheel axel was bent.

"As I cautiously drove it back to my home in Marshalswick, ABS and engine warning lights came on. I called our local mechanic who told me not to drive the car."

The disgruntled driver has since discovered that a number of other cars have been affected by the pothole.

She continued: "When I got home, I went to report the fault to Hertfordshire Highways via their website and could see that there were already five reports of this same pothole on their fault website.

"So five previous motorists had reported the fault, yet Hertfordshire County Council still had not put a warning up to protect other motorists or cyclists from the same fate.

"This pothole measures approximately 3x2 metres and is up to half a metre deep in places.

"I called Hertfordshire Highways who advised me to put in an insurance claim but said that it is ‘rare’ that the council pays compensation."

The mother-of-two's work includes running clinics for babies to be weighed, attending safeguarding meetings and running antenatally talks for parents. 

She added: "Having a car is a prerequisite of my role within the NHS.

"As a result of having no car, or courtesy car, I have had to take eight days annual leave and cancel clinics, as I physically cannot do my job without a car, affecting the local community that I work in.

"This also means that when I need to take annual leave to spend it with my two children, I won’t be able to, as I have had to take it because I don’t have a car.

"I am appalled by how I have been left high and dry, surely the council should be held accountable for the state of the road, knowing about the huge pothole, and still not doing anything about it."

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council explained how it is only required to pay compensation if it has not followed its own maintenance polices, in regard to pothole repairs.


The spokesperson commented: "We’re sorry to hear about the damage to this resident’s car.

"We investigate all claims for damage caused by potholes, however we are only required to pay compensation where there is evidence that we are in breach of our legal duties, for example if we have failed to follow our own maintenance policies.

"We will not pay out on claims where we are not at fault, and as a result most claims we receive are rejected.”