Feeling deflated home > backlash

Guest writer Malcolm Ross stands up for his rights as a motorist in true backlash style.

To say I love my car would be a bit of an understatement. Frankly, my passion is bordering on an obsession. You can imagine how I felt when a concealed pothole punctured one of my tyres on the way home. I hate the blame culture developing in this country as much as anyone, but I pay the council good money to keep the roads in a reasonable condition and this has just pissed me right off.

Highways Department
County Hall
Morpeth

Dear Council,

Please find enclosed an invoice for 47 regarding the replacement of the off-side rear tyre on my car. As I'm sure you'll agree from the explanation below, this sum is entirely reasonable.

Last night (Friday 22nd Feb, 2002), I had the misfortune to hit a pothole on the road from Hartford Bank into Bedlington. The offending hole can be found approximately 200 yds before the entrance to the golf club. The danger was in no way indicated to the motorist and at night appears just like any other repair patch on that road. This explains why I saw no need to take evasive action. Sadly, the collision gave me quite a shock and punctured my off-side rear tyre. Given that it was in no way my fault, I'd like to claim compensation, calculated as follows.

The tyre in question originally cost me 68. When purchased, it had an average tread depth of 8.5mm. It now has an average tread depth of 6.5mm. Given that I would have continued to run the tyre until it was down to a depth of 2mm (I could go further, but we'll round up), I had used roughly 31% of the tyre's lifespan before it was punctured.

% Lifespan used = (Used tread / Total tread available) x 100

% Lifespan used = ((8.5mm - 6.5mm) / (8.5mm - 2mm)) x 100

% Lifespan used = (2mm / 6.5mm) x 100

% Lifespan used = 0.30769 x 100

% Lifespan used = 30.77

Therefore, the percentage of the tyre's lifespan remaining was:

% Lifespan left = 100 - 30.77

% Lifespan left = 69.23

Therefore, the extra cost to me due to lost value of the tyre is:

Cost of pothole = 68 x (69.23 / 100)

Cost of pothole = 47.08

I'm not too fussy about pennies, so you can keep the 8 pence and I'll settle for the 47. I also hope that you will see fit to either repair the pothole or at the very least mark it clearly as a hazard so that traffic can take avoiding action.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Malcolm Ross

Though sent to the manager of the day, no response was received. Such a shame that they cared so little.

[Ed. This is an example of how to do it. Write to the authorities and demand your rights. It is only when you complain that these people get any sort of feedback to indicate how they can improve. If your complaint is reasonable, then GO FOR IT!] 

Written: 23 February 2002
Mal Ross