A DRIVER has slammed Colchester's 'terrible' roads after she was landed with an "out of the blue" bill for three new tyres when her car failed its MOT. 

Ruth Badley, from Mount Bures, drives on the A1124 between Wakes Colne and Stanway on a regular basis.

But she was left shocked after taking her car to Inchcape Mini in Colchester only to have it fail its MOT. 

She said: "My car failed its first MOT test yesterday with three tyres exhibiting damage.

"I was told they are seeing a sharp increase in cars unexpectedly failing MOT tests, due to the condition of the tyres.

“The nature of the damage indicates that poor road conditions are a major cause, and motorists are having to pay hundreds of pounds to replace their tyres to ensure their vehicles are legally roadworthy.”

Ruth said the garage was "helpful and very sympathetic" and she has hit out at Essex Highways saying the condition of roads in Colchester was a big factor. 

She added: “An ‘out of the blue’ bill to immediately replace three tyres on a relatively new car is unusual to say the least.”

Ruth has been left disappointed at the difficulty in claiming compensation for damages as the damage on her tyres is not linked to one incident.

She said unless a driver can provide evidence of an incident or a location of a pothole, claims are "automatically dismissed."

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “As we move away from the wettest winter ever recorded, the drier conditions mean that we will soon be starting our 2024 road resurfacing season.  

“In order to maximise our resources, we have to fix the most urgent issues first, however, all defects reported to us are assessed by an inspector.

“We therefore encourage members of the public to report any defects or issues they find through our online Tell Us tool at www.essexhighways.org/tell-us.  

“It’s now easier than ever to report issues such as potholes to us, as our Tell Us tool is integrated with What3words, which doesn’t even require an internet connection.

“Information about our repair criteria and maintenance strategy can be found at: essexhighways.org/how-we-prioritise-highway-issues.

“If residents want to submit a compensation claim, we do need a specific location to be submitted. Without this, we are unable to investigate the claim properly.

“When we have all the necessary details, compensation claims are investigated fully and damages are paid if the council is liable.

“The majority of claims are successfully defended because we are rigorous in our maintenance of the Essex road network, which is one of the largest in the country.”

In February, it was reported Essex County Council had fixed more than 1,200 potholes in January, including 700 on priority roads and 530 on local roads.

The total amount of 1,221 repairs was an increase to the previous month.