After months of motorists complaining that crumbling roads had damaged their tyres and cars, a local council has taken action and sacked the company responsible for maintaining its highways.
West Sussex County Council had been forced to pay out £5,524 to vehicle owners in Crawley during a 12-month period for wrecked suspension systems, punctured tyres and chipped paintwork.
And following a winter of discontent, where motorists were left raging about pothole problems and crumbling roads, the council has confirmed it will not be renewing the contract of May Gurney, who have been responsible for looking after the county’s roads since 2006.
In September this year the local newspaper revealed Crawley had the worst roads in West Sussex.
Statistics showed there were 20 successful compensation claims made to the county council from angry residents.
The largest claim paid out from this area followed an incident in March where motorist Neil Quarendon was given nearly £2,000 because a pothole in Wallage Lane, Worth, caused damage to his 4×4 Range Rover.
At the time the county council blamed the type of clay, allied to the poor winter weather, for the poor road conditions in the town.
However, it has not emerged that the contract for May Gurney will not be renewed when it expires in 2011.
A county council spokeswoman said: “West Sussex County Council, like many other local authorities and public services across the country, is experiencing growing pressures on its budget.
“We have decided not to extend our contract with May Gurney that started in July 2006 and will end at its due date of June 30 2011. This will enable us to review what the best contract arrangements are to meet future needs.
“In the meantime, May Gurney have fully committed to working with us for the full length of this contract and will continue to deliver the service until new arrangements are put in place.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team