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Driver landed with huge £700 damage bill after car goes over giant pothole on roundabout

A woman is fuming after a roundabout pothole caused £700 damage to her car.

And to make matters worse, Joanna Mattick has spent three months trying to find out who's responsible for maintaining the road and still has no answer.

Joanna, from Maidstone in Kent was driving her Nissan Qashqai on the A249 Sheppey-bound, near Stockbury Roundabout in Sittingbourne, when she hit the crater. On December 13, after an evening in Bedgebury, she was driving in the rain with her partner to drop him off in Sittingbourne.

At around 8.45pm, just 500 yards before the roundabout, her six-year-old car hit a hole in the road. Joanna, 40 said: "We immediately knew we'd got a blowout due to the impact. It was bone-shaking and you felt the jolt right in your belly. We were only travelling 50mph, as that was the speed limit through the roadworks. I saw a look of anguish on his face when we knew we hit it."

The damage caused her front tyre and alloy to be replaced, and the passenger-side bumper had popped out. She was unable to use her repair kit on the deflated tyre and waited two and a half hours for a recovery vehicle.

Joanna, who works in the public sector, reported the hole to National Highways and noticed several other cars had pulled over nearby. She added: "One guy stopped in front of me and got out to look at his car. He said the jolt of hitting the hole caused his head to hit the roof and some of the paint to peel off his alloys. There were around four cars that had their hazards on along the same slip road as us."

Since the incident, Joanna was quoted £700 for repairs. She added: "I can't guarantee that subsequent problems with my car which have cost me an additional £500 aren't attributed to the intense jolt that we went through. Because I didn't have any issues before then. Now I'm in and out of the garage like a jack-in-the-box."

Over the last three months, Joanna has been trying to find out who is responsible for the stretch of road and logged a claim to National Highways on December 15. After more than two weeks, she called the complaints department and was told it was not their responsibility.

She was sent contact details for Sheppey Route Limited a DBFO company based in Edinburgh. In the 1990s, the Highways Agency created a system called Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO), where a private firm would be assigned to a specific route and was required to operate and maintain it.

On February 8, Joanna was emailed by a representative from FM Conway, a civil engineering contractor. They said it was not their responsibility, but passed on her claims to GRAHAM, the construction company currently working on the A249 Stockbury flyover.

They are set to improve the slip roads and junction approaches onto the M2. She has not had a response and tried to chase FM Conway for an update twice.

Joanna said: "I'm still playing the waiting game. I'm frustrated. I'm not baying for blood, but it's just like banging my head against a brick wall.

"Day in, day out, I'm thinking 'I wonder if I'm going to get an email today' or 'Do I need to make another phone call?' I'm getting to the stage now where no answer is not good enough. Someone has to accept responsibility."

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