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Builder loses a day’s work after wheel smashed by pothole

A builder lost an entire day’s work after a pothole on a busy road “destroyed” his tyre.

Self-employed Ian Higginbottom, (50), of MM Construction, said he “could not believe” the damage done to his van after driving along Park Lane, Knypersley, to pick up some tiles.

He was left with a deflated tyre and a “smashed” alloy wheel, which meant he could not get to work and had to spend the day trying to get it fixed.

One county councillor said that the “wear and tear” on Park Lane could have been worsened by an increased number of delivery drivers on the road, as a result of an increase in online orders in lockdown.

Mr Higginbottom described the moment he hit the pothole, near the junction with Woodland Street.

He told the Chronicle: “I was driving along and there was a bang. The next thing I knew, my tyre was flat. I had to pull in and call my local tyre firm, Saxon Tyres.

“They came and took my wheel off, put a spare on and took the old wheel with them, but I then found out it couldn’t be fixed because the pothole had smashed my alloy wheel. Not only have I had to buy a new alloy wheel, I lost a whole day’s work.

“When it was being refitted on Wednesday (26th) morning, I was told that someone else had the same problem the day before where the pothole had smashed the bottom of a car. If someone went over it on a motorbike, it would be a totally different story.”

Mr Higginbottom, who works across Biddulph and Congleton, reported the pothole to the council and was told he would have a response within three days.

He added: “It’s just an inconvenience. I am forking out for something that, technically, is not my fault.”

Conservative County Coun Keith Flunder, who represents the Biddulph South and Endon ward at Staffordshire County Council, said he had been working on improvements to Park Lane for several years.

He said: “It has been noted on Park Lane that there are a lot more HGVs going through into Biddulph Moor, because some companies have been busier than they would normally be and are more delivery-based now.

“The wear and tear on the road mean that potholes are occurring much quicker. That could be as a result of heavier traffic going up Park Lane, which we may be able to investigate.”

County Coun Flunder explained that the authority surveyed traffic flow on a busy road in Bagnall and thought that this may be possible in Knypersley.

He added: “There is never ever going to be a simple answer to vehicles getting bigger and heavier, the catchment areas for schools getting larger and the traffic on the roads increasing, but these things can mean that roads need to be resurfaced on a more regular basis.”

Work to improve pavements along Park Lane, that had previously been described as “long overdue”, began in July last year and were finished in December. The work was part of a long-term project to improve children’s safety on a route that many use to get to local schools.

County Coun Flunder has partly been using funds from his divisional highways plan – money that each county councillor is allocated to spend on their ward – to address issues on Park Lane.

Other improvements on the horizon for Park Lane include better bus access and road markings around the lane’s mini roundabouts.

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