A MOTORIST has called on highways bosses to put more effort into tackling potholes after one set off her airbags and left her with a £3,500 repair bill.

Sherrie Blakeborough was driving her Volkswagen Golf along the B5278 from Flookburgh to Haverthwaite when she went over what she thought was a puddle after a sharp bend.

As she drove over what turned out to be a deep pothole her curtain and passenger seat airbags were activated.

The motorist attempted to submit a claim to Cumbria County Council, which is responsible for the maintenance of the road, but this was disputed.

Miss Blakeborough has had to claim on her insurance which meant she incurred a £950 excess and lost two years' no claims discount.

She has also been left with two years of finance to pay off on her vehicle.

"I drove over a pothole that was around a sharp corner and covered with water as it had been raining," she said.

"My passenger tyre popped, then it deployed the curtain and passenger seat airbags, meaning my insurance made this a total loss because of the airbag damage.

"I have now lost two years no claims and £950 of excess paid to my insurance, and having to find a new car whilst paying off two years of the car finance. I had a quote from a local garage of £3,500 of damage."

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for highways, said: "Cumbria has the fourth largest road network in England which includes a large proportion of rural roads. The current funding formula used by government favours urban networks particularly where there are large centres of population.

"Cumbria’s road network is an ageing asset which has been affected by extreme weather events in the last few years and with climate change this is likely to continue. We have a maintenance backlog of £350m and with reductions in government funding over the last five years we have had to prioritise our funding on our main priority roads and choice of treatments adopting a risk based approach.

"Like all authorities and especially rural counties like here in Cumbria, we continue to lobby Government to allocate more funding for highways infrastructure.

"This year’s funding formula sees Cumbria receive approximately £23,620 of road funding per mile, whilst councils in Greater London receive an average of more than £62,000 per mile."