A retired builder says he has got nowhere battling with Devon County Council over the liability for an accident at The Mounts which damaged his pick up truck.

David O’Shaughnessy from West Alvington was reversing his vehicle along the A381 in February to make way for an oncoming vehicle where the road narrows.

He explained: “There used to be a curb in front of a lamp post at the bottom of a place called the Mounts.

“Unbeknown to me, during COVID or whenever, the road was altered to redirect the flow of rainwater.

“Rather than putting a culvert in, they have literally run the curb now behind the lamppost, which has now caused the problem that when you get to this bit of road, nine times out of ten, you will have to reverse down it to let a caravan or a lorry or a truck down, because the road is only wide enough for one-way traffic.

“Now, when you drive in a lorry or truck, as I do, you use your wing mirrors.

“I was driving in weather conditions that were raining and very misty and very dark.

“This was following the kerb back as I always do when reversing, I suddenly heard a whooshing noise and wondered what the hell it was.

“It wasn't until I got home and looked at my vehicle, I discovered my backlight and all the side of my vehicle was scraped and damaged.

“I went back to the place where it happened and was astonished to find that the lamp post was now, for all intents and purposes in the road and I had sideswiped it.

The damage caused to Michael's pick-up
(Richard Harding)

David contacted Devon County Council and said:

“They basically said, I'm a very bad driver for reversing into a stationary object.

“I then asked them to meet me on site with somebody so that we could discuss the problem.

“Nobody wished to meet me.

“I then got an email basically saying I'm a bad driver and that was the end of the road for me.

“My next move was to go to the ombudsman.”

The location of the lamp post
(David O'Shaughnessy )

David continued: “I wasn't going to go down the ombudsman route because I know it takes forever, so I just thought, well, that's it.

“Then a couple of weeks ago, I drove past and noticed the lamppost was at a bit of an angle, so I thought I'd take a closer inspection, only to find that several other cars and lorries had all reversed into it with the same problem, leaving their paint all over it and debris, broken glass, etc.

David told us he had failed to get through to the DCC customer helpline which kept cutting him off.

A DCC spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear that Mr O’Shaughnessy was not satisfied with our recent response following his complaint regarding a lamp post.

“We have advised him that he should contact the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman if he wishes to pursue the matter further, whereby we will act upon the Ombudsman’s recommendations.”