A FED-up motorist is £450 out of pocket after Bournemouth council blamed vandals for damage done to his car.

Ken Bull, of Lymington, damaged the front bumper and underside of his Volvo when he drove over an unmarked raised surface at the entrance to the Durley Chine car park last August.

Contractors had been installing height barriers and a raised surface at the car park entrance but hadn’t managed to complete the work before the bank holiday weekend.

Mr Bull paid £450 to repair his vehicle and submitted a compensation claim to Bournemouth council, arguing the newly installed hump should have been blocked off until the road was made safe.

But after months of wrangling, Bournemouth council refused his claim, alleging the hump had been cordoned off but vandals had removed the barriers.

In a letter to Mr Bull, the council’s insurer Zurich stated: “To expect the council to implement a 24-hour surveillance operation would impose an onerous and burdensome duty upon manpower and resources.

“We are satisfied the council and their contractors implemented reasonable measures to ensure vehicles would not impact with the raised surface. They will not be criticised for the actions taken.”

But Mr Bull said: “I asked the council if the vandalism had been reported to the police but never got a response. It is extremely annoying.

“If there had been barriers or a warning sign there I would obviously never have driven into the car park.

“To me it is a case of the big organisation walking all over the little man.

“They can say what they like and I can’t do anything about it.”

Fiona Manton, the council’s risk manager for strategic finance, said in a statement that the matter had been fully investigated by the council’s insurers.

“All insurance claims are considered within the scope of legal liability rules and provisions. Since a legal framework for claim administration exists, it would not be appropriate for the council to comment on either a specific case or on general liability matters,” she added.