A rain-filled pothole claimed five “victims” in a matter of minutes – including a car driven by a young woman on her driving test.
The Toyota Corolla Altis in which she was taking her test, a white van, an AA driving instructor’s vehicle, a VW Polo and a Ford Fiesta all sustained damage on Monday morning when they hit the six inch deep pothole.
The Toyota, which belongs to driving instructor Michael Pawsey, came off the worst with damage to a wheel and tyre while the others, including the VW driven by Victoria Gillespie, all had damaged tyres, which needed changing.
Mr Pawsey, 62, of Holmfirth, said the pupil taking her test could not have avoided hitting the pothole and had done nothing wrong. Her test had to be abandoned and will now have to be re-arranged.
He said: “It all happened one after the other – bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!
“A colleague took me down. There were five vehicles in total all parked up.”
Mr Pawsey said one of the wheels on his Toyota had been badly gouged and the tyre had shredded. The Toyota dealership said it would order him a new wheel and the car’s tracking would also need to be checked.
Mr Pawsey said the loss of his car meant he had to cancel four lessons. “I couldn’t work on Monday because I don’t have a new wheel,” he said. “I have had to order a replacement and the dealer said it would come overnight. I will have to go to the dealer in Barnsley.”
He said the new wheel would cost him about £235 plus VAT while a new tyre would cost £85 plus VAT. Cancelling the two-hour lessons would mean Mr Pawsey being a further £160 out of pocket. He said the pupil taking her test would also have to be reimbursed her £60 driving test fee.
Mr Pawsey, who has been a driving instructor for about 10 years, said the road with the pothole was part of the local driving test route and was used every day by instructors and examiners.
“The pothole is right on the driving line about a metre from the kerb,” he said. “While we were waiting, a number of other vehicles only just missed hitting it.”
He said if the pupil had seen the pothole and veered into the other carriageway to avoid it she could have been failed for lack of “lane discipline.”
He added: “The roads in Kirklees are absolutely diabolical. We have more potholes than anywhere else I can think of.
“We shouldn’t have to put up with this. At the test centre in Huddersfield there are three big potholes outside. It’s every road we go on – it’s bang, bang, bang and your suspension is shot.”
Kirklees Council admitted in April that it has well over 4,000 reported potholes that urgently need fixing – but was having trouble finding some of them.
Officials have written to all councillors urging them to make sure people who complain to them about potholes give an exact location as to where they are.