2:55 PM September 22, 2022
A disgruntled driver was forced to pay more than £2,400 to repair his car after he drove over a stretch of the A11 that was damaged during this summer’s heatwave.
Luke Tomaszewski was driving along the northbound carriageway close to the Thickthorn Roundabout on July 19 when he hit the cracked and protruding concrete.
The damage was caused by the extreme heat on one of the hottest days of the year, when temperatures hit nearly 40C in parts of Norfolk.
After hearing a large bang, Mr Tomaszewski, from Wymondham, said his engine light turned on and he pulled into the nearest layby.
But he did not realize the damage it had caused until he took his car to a garage and he was informed that his air suspension had been damaged and the total cost would be £2,478.
He said: “It wasn’t just me who was affected.
“There were about five cars that also pulled into the layby with damaged tires and breaks.
“The damage on the road wasn’t small, it was massive. I was in a queue of traveling cars, so there wasn’t time to react.
“About 40 minutes after this happened the road was closed so they could repair it.”
Facing such a hefty repair cost, Mr. Tomaszewski contacted National Highways to demand compensation.
But his claim was rejected.
A spokesperson from National Highways said they responded to the defect within the 24-hour response period – the road was fixed overnight on July 20 – and there was no evidence of a defect prior to the incident to have prevented it.
They said: “Safety is National Highways’ top priority, and on dual carriageways like the A11 we carry out a rolling program of safety inspections every seven days to maintain our roads.”
But Mr Tomaszewski said he felt this was “unfair” as the damage caused was out of his control.
He added: “It’s 100pc not my fault.
“I thought they would share the cost, or help to pay and not just say ‘it’s not our responsibility’.
“I’m fed up. It’s not been easy with the prices going up. I’ve tried everything but no one has been able to help.”