Horham going potty over pothole problem

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

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A north Suffolk village is going potty over potholes.

A maverick potholer has begun to highlight defects along the roads in Horham with yellow paint in a bid to get them noticed and repaired by Suffolk County Council.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Badly affected areas include the B1117 Denham Low Road, and the Horham to Worlingworth Road.

But Hav Wilkins, Horham and Athelington Parish Council chairman, said that while there were a number of potholes in the village, he claimed they did not meet criteria for them to be filled.

He added that he knew of some drivers who have had to replace tyres on their cars as a result of driving over potholes.

And a Freedom of Information request has revealed the county council received 446 claims by motorists who had their cars damaged through road defects in the 12 months from May last year.

As far as we are concerned, if you are on a bike and a pot hole is only an inch deep, you are in trouble. It is a source of frustration

Hav Wikins, chairman, Horham and Athelington Parish Council

To date, 41 payments have been made, at a cost of £10,223.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said pre-surface dressing repairs on the B1117 Denham Low Road were scheduled to take place between June 12 and 17.

In Suffolk County Council’s own highway maintenance operational plan, published last year, it concedes there is insufficient funds to “put right every one on the local highway network straight away”.

It also sets out the requirements, in regards to road type and size of the potholes, determining the time frame of when these should be repaired.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Some will fall into the category of ‘potential future works’ – with the plan stating: “Some work just has to wait...and that includes tackling what many people will consider to be potholes.”

Mr Wilkins told the Diss Express: “There are parts of the road which are bad.

“As far as we are concerned, if you are on a bike and a pot hole is only an inch deep, you are in trouble. It is a source of frustration.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said there has been a “general cultural increase” in the number of claims made to local authorities in recent years.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

Potholes in Horham, 2017. Submitted photo.

“As the cost of motoring continues to rise, residents and businesses are entitled to seek compensation,” he said. “We settle between 10 to 15 per cent of such claims.

“Details of how to do this can be found on the council’s website or through our customer service team.

“Individuals must demonstrate that the damage or injury incurred was a direct result of a highways defect.”

Mr Wilkins added: “People have got to the point now where they are living with pot holes because they are there and nothing seems to be done about it.

“It is something we have started to live with and we are coming to accept it. With austerity and pot holes, money has been diverted away from road repairs, though I am sure people at the council would deny that.

“It would seem, from my personal opinion, that rural villages, seem to come out worse.”

To report a pothole, go online at www.suffolk.gov.uk.