A considerate commuter who hit a pesky pothole after politely pulling over for fellow motorists says he nearly lost his front wheel.

Clark Wells, a 35-year-old site manager from Sible Hedingham, was left with his nearside front wheel detached from the axle after colliding with a ruinous rut.

He hit the Hemnall Street horror hole at the junction with Star Lane, Epping, at around 5pm yesterday and was waiting for two hours before a recovery truck picked him up.

Mr Wells, who builds race cars for a hobby, said: “I wasn’t going very fast at all and I pulled across because the traffic on my side had stopped to let traffic through.

"I went over the pothole and heard a bang and three yards later my wheel was off.

“I was only going about 10 or 15 miles an hour but if I had hit it at 30mph I might have struggled to control it and I'm used to things going wrong with my car from racing.

“Luckily it was all ok and nobody got hurt.”

Fortunately Mr Wells is able fix his wheel himself for a fraction of the cost of having it seen by a garage and he should be back on the road by Thursday.

He is considering compensation from Essex County Council which is responsible for maintaining the road.

Pothole Man was on the case of this crafty crater in October when Essex County Council had classified it in the lowest priority level.