GALLERY: Falling tree leaves woman hundreds of pounds out of pocket - and nobody wants to take the blame
09:54 07 March 2014
A woman whose car was crushed when a tree fell in strong winds has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after two organisations refused to accept responsibility.
Sharmaine Lenaghan’s Mazda MX-5 was written off in January when a tree was brought down in 80mph winds.
The car was parked near a pumping station in Lower Road, Stuntney, and Sharmaine initially contacted Anglian Water, which owns the station, to see if it was responsible.
But Anglian Water the tree was owned by Cambridgeshire County Council as it was on a public highway and that it would also put in a claim for damage to the pumping station.
Sharmaine contacted the county council but, to her dismay, officers said the tree belonged to Anglian Water.
Mother-of-one Sharmaine, of Steward Close, has since had to rely on public transport and taxis to get her to work near Cambridge because her insurance company has been unable to make a claim.
She said: “Rather than pay everything out of my own pocket, I have been trying to get to the bottom of who I can claim against but nobody wants to take ownership.
“Everybody I have spoken to seems to think the tree belongs to the county council but it has denied it and told me to speak to the Land Registry.
“It has caused me a lot of stress, I’ve had to pay out for taxis to get to work and my insurance premium is likely to go up as a result of this. All I want is some clarity.”
A county council spokesman said: “Immediately after the tree was damaged our highways team carried out emergency work to clear some debris from the road and make the road safe.
“However, after further inspection we believe the tree is not on highway land and is a boundary tree on land owned by Anglian Water and is therefore its responsibility - we reported this information to the water company.”
A spokesman for Anglian Water said that its estates department will take up the issue with the Land Registry and would contact Sharmaine when it had received an answer.