MORE than 500 potholes are now blighting roads throughout East Sussex, but the county council claims to be doing all it can to tackle the problem.
Routes in and around Bexhill are among those affected by badly pocked and broken surfaces, and road users are wondering how such a situation has developed.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman blamed the recent severe weather that has swept in over the festive period - heavy rain followed by penetrating frosts being a perfect recipe for problems.
But Cllr Carl Maynard, ESCC lead member for transport and environment, rejects any suggestion that the authority has been complacent.
He said: “ Over the last two years, we’ve resurfaced over 200 kilometres or 124 miles of roads in East Sussex. That’s equivalent to resurfacing a road all the way from London to Bristol.”
And he added: “In the past year we’ve spent £119.5 million on resurfacing, but even with this level of investment we still get additional problems occurring when severe weather hits us.
“We’re sending extra work gangs out to repair the most serious potholes as soon as they are reported.
“We have to prioritise our work - so the largest holes on the busiest roads will be top of our list.”
ESCC is asking road users to help by reporting any problems they find, either by telephoning 0345 60 80 193 or logging on to the website: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/contactus/reportaproblem
Dave Dickens-Smith, chairman of Rother District Taxi Drivers’ Association, drives around 35,000 miles a year and reckons East Sussex roads are among the worst. He said: “Here in Bexhill, Potmans Lane lives up to its name - there are more potholes than road surface. In Peartree Lane on New Year’s Day I damaged a front wheel and saw another driver burst a tyre. It’s a total disgrace.”
Barry Line, of Bexhill Wheelers cycle club, said: “Even a small pothole can be treacherous, buckling a wheel or throwing a rider over the handlebars. We try our best to avoid them.”