VOTE: County agrees to pay up for windscreen damage

Dogged determination has paid off for Tillington motorist Beverly Law who has finally been compensated for damage to her car windscreens.

After a four month battle she heard last week West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has agreed to pay out for two windscreens which were damaged by loose chippings not been swept away after resurfacing on the A272 between Tillington and Midhurst.

Mrs Law appealed through the Observer in February for fellow motorists to report the poor state of the road surface as she was worried there would be a serious accident.

As a result of her appeal more drivers contacted the newspaper with their tales of similar experiences on the same stretch of road.

Mrs Law said the first incident resulted in a chipped windscreen to her 4x4 Toyota which she had to have repaired.

The second incident was more serious and the stones actually caused a crack which meant she had to have the whole windscreen replaced.

She borrowed a car from the garage while hers was being repaired and it happened again, this time chipping the windscreen of the borrowed car.

“Determination has paid off,” she said this week after hearing WSCC was paying £75 for the windscreen which had to be replaced and a further £10 for the one which had to be repaired. “But it’s not exactly a triumph, as if the work had been done properly in the first place I wouldn’t have had to make the claim, it’s all about the inconvenience.

“And I have found you really have to be bothered to pursue a compensation claim. The form is a real pain. It is so long winded and they even want maps showing where the incident happened which would be enough to put most people off.

“I probably wouldn’t have got anywhere without all the articles about the road surface in the Observer,” she added.

But she said she was determined to carry on with her claim because she felt someone should take responsibility for the state of the road. After she filled in the claim form in late January she heard nothing apart from an acknowledgement.

After two months she began telephoning the county council for an answer and then, out of the blue, she received a letter from one of the county council’s contractors who told Mrs Law they had no record of working in that location at that time.

“I had never contacted them in the first place, it was the county council I was dealing with, so I photocopied all the articles from the Observer – including one which reported county council highways officer Steve Johnson accepting contractors had failed to carry out some resurfacing work correctly.”

Shortly after that she said she received a letter from the county council telling her they would make £85 compensation payment ‘without prejudice or admission of liability’.