Business owner calls for council apology after his minibus is struck by bin lorry

PUBLISHED: 08:34 21 March 2019

Some of the damage caused to a minibus belonging to Paul Goodey.

Some of the damage caused to a minibus belonging to Paul Goodey.

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A childminder from Elmdon has demanded an apology from the council after his minibus was written off by a bin lorry, months after his wife's car was also damaged in a similar incident.

Paul Goodey’s minibus, which he uses for work, has been classed as a write-off by his insurers after one of Uttlesford District Council’s bin lorries crashed into it while it was parked outside his house.

Five months earlier, one of the council’s bin lorries reversed into his wife’s car.

“This is now the second time in less than a six-month period they have caused damage to our vehicles,” he said.

Paul said the council admitted liability on both occasions, but he has lost £2,000 on the value of his minibus, which he saved up to buy for his work as a childminder.

“It’s worth £6,000 on the private market, but insurance is only willing to pay £4,000,” he said. “The insurance company has said a new bumper, new side glass, paint job and body work, and new graphics work have amounted to being too expensive.”

Paul had just parked the minibus and was taking children inside when the incident happened on March 5.

“I was taking coats off the children and could see the bin lorry coming around the corner too tight. I’ve driven lorries so I could see what was going to happen, but it was too late,” he said.

Paul said the driver of the bin lorry got out and apologised to him, saying she had passed her test just a week earlier.

“Why would you put an inexperienced driver on narrow and rural roads? She did say sorry and I rang the council who said they would get back to me. I didn’t hear from them for several days and they didn’t even apologise. This has happened twice in six months and I don’t even get a letter of apology. I am really annoyed.”

It was Paul’s wife’s mobility car that was damaged a few months earlier when a bin lorry reversed into it.

“That was a few thousand pounds worth of damage and she couldn’t drive it because it wasn’t legal due to the extent of the damage. It had to been sent away to be fixed,” he said. “Any apology would be nice. My minibus is now worth £540 for scrap.”

A spokesman for UDC said: “The incidents in question have been referred to the parties’ insurance companies to seek a resolution so it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

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