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Over 400 damaged wheels and tyres in the Hawkesbury in a year due to potholes

Jun 18, 2021


Motorists are being hit hard in the Hawkesbury as potholes across the local government area continue to take out vehicle wheels and tyres as well as damaging suspension and steering gear.


A damaged alloy wheel – if it can be repaired – costs around $200 to put right.


And there’s nothing you can do about it – aside from dodging the potholes – unless Hawkesbury Council do not get repairs carried out in a timely manner once the pothole has been reported to them.


Figures from the NRMA handed to the Post show that in the year to this last February, they were called out in the Hawkesbury some 435 times for tyre damage “which were attributable to road conditions” – that’s potholes to you and me.


The real figure is likely to be much higher because many drivers will replace their own damaged wheel and tyre and put the spare on. There are others who are not members of the NRMA who may call friends or relatives to come out and help.


This writer has had three damaged wheels this last year thanks to separate deep potholes on two occasions and the jagged road edge on Grose Vale Road claiming a third in the dark coming into the hill down to North Richmond. One wheel is damaged beyond repair – it split – and the other two each cost $200 for repairs.


Pothole damaged wheel and tyre belonging to Post Editor Tony B


“The onus initially is on the driver to report a pothole to the council and then they should repair it,” an NRMA spokesman told the Post.


He says to get the council to pay for repairs to your wheels, tyres or car, usually means you would need to sue them.


“But it is very difficult to sue the council,” he said. “They need to have been told about it and have taken no action.


“And really you don’t want to go down that route because suing a council costs money and it costs the council money too to have legal representation and our view at NRMA is it is better to spend that money on fixing potholes.”


The NRMA has successfully lobbied state government for more money for road repairs over the last decade and for the State roads – such as Bells Line of Road or Windsor Road – Transport for NSW have a $1.5 billion annual maintenance budget.


“We have been working really hard to get more funding for roads and that has paid off. There is now more [money] than there has been before,” the NRMA spokesman said.


He also makes the point that in an area like the Hawkesbury, which depends to a large extent on its tourist potential, you don’t want to get a reputation for having poor road maintenance.


“From a council perspective you want people visiting the Hawkesbury and spending money. Ideally what you don’t want is for them to be spending money on repairs to their wheels, tyres and car.”


So, if you see a pothole, contact Council immediately, this is especially the case after rain when potholes tend to appear, and hopefully it will get sorted out quickly – or at least before you drive into it.


Here is the link to Council’s website pothole reporting tool.


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