Just taken my broken lens to Wilkinson Cameras in Kendal, hopefully their engineers can fix it and I can avoid the cost of a replacement one. Apparently Nikon no longer make this lens and a similar replacement 24-105 I think is only part of a body bundle. So I have been googling and possible the 16-85mm VR lens could be a good replacement but it sounds tohave better optics and focus than the currently broken one, which I suppose it should as it costs a fair old chunk of money. Not sure if I should go the Sigma or Tamron route instead. Still the lens came up with an error code in the view finder r21 or e21 I seem to remember so hopefully this will be easily fixable!!
Roll on the phone call to let me know the damage!
Just had the cost of the repair and apparently the silent motor mechanism is broken so it will cost almost the price of a new lens to repair. So I have taken the plunge and bought a Nikon 16-85 VR lens. Hopefully get some photos taken soon.