Authority won’t pay for damage done when a bin lorry tyre blew out in Ormesby

Jenny and Vijay Seeranj from Ormesby are upset after a bin tyre blew out on a bin lorry and shattere

Jenny and Vijay Seeranj from Ormesby are upset after a bin tyre blew out on a bin lorry and shattered glass in the front of their house and car. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

An Ormesby couple have been left 'shocked' after Norfolk County Council refused to pay for the damage caused when a refuse lorry tyre blew up outside their home.

Jennifer and Vijay Sheeranj, of Appleton Drive, were going about their business on a Thursday morning, when the refuse truck pulled up as normal to empty their wheelie bins.

'I was upstairs in the bedroom, when I heard a huge explosion,' said Mrs Sheeranj, 61. 'My husband shouted through to me to see if I was okay because it was enough to shake the house.'

'We went downstairs to see that some panes in our lounge window had smashed, as well as the pane in the office. We went outside and the bin men were standing there in shock.'

When Mr and Mrs Sheeranj went outside, they saw that there was a hole in one of the refuse lorry tyres, which had blown out.

'They filled in their accident form and said sorry, they said the council would pay for the damage and would call us to let us know the next steps,' Mrs Sheeranj, who works as a midwife, added.

Although refuse collection in Ormesby is dealt with by GYB Services on behalf on Great Yarmouth Borough Council, insurance claims are administered by the Risk and Insurance Department at County Hall in Norwich.

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'We went out for the morning, but when we came back we noticed the rear window in my husband's car was smashed too, and we hadn't heard from the council so I phoned them. The person I spoke to said they didn't know where the council stood with it, and said someone would be in touch.'

In the meantime, Mr and Mrs Sheeranj arranged for the repairs to their windows to be carried out, which totalled around £450.

'We were going away the next day, and we didn't want our property to be left insecure or our home insurance to be invalid,' Mrs Sheeranj said.

The next thing Mr and Mrs Sheeranj heard from the council was via a letter, telling them that they would not be able to claim back the money they had spent on the repairs, due to the tyres being checked regularly and having a protective covering to stop them blowing out.

'But that's ridiculous because it happened anyway!' said Mrs Sherranj. Despite an appeal, their claim has still been denied.

'The council are obviously insured, and so are we,' said Mrs Sheeranj. 'But why should we have to claim on our car and home insurance and push our premiums up when it's not our fault?'

'We live round the corner from a school and if someone was walking past the force could have killed them, so I think the council have had an appalling attitude over this, we're not impressed with how we've been treated.'

A spokesman from Norfolk County Council said: 'We are very sorry to hear about what happened, which was really unfortunate but was not the fault of GYB Services or Norfolk County Council.

'The vehicle and tyres had been properly inspected – including an independent monthly inspection last carried out 19 days before the incident – while the tyre in question was only fitted a year ago, was only half worn, and included a protective wall to prevent damage in the event of a blow-out such as this.

'Given that all reasonable care had been taken, the council cannot accept responsibility for the cost of damage caused by what was an unfortunate and unforeseeable accident. We would advise the couple to contact their own household and vehicle insurers about this.'