Driving in Grantham is proving a new year nightmare thanks to pothole-strewn roads which cover vast swathes of the town.
The Journal has been inundated with complaints from readers over the Christmas period with everyone highlighting their own pothole black-spots which are putting the health of drivers and cyclists at risk - as well as causing costly damage to cars. One Journal reader described driving on Grantham’s roads as like playing a game of “Pothole Pinball”.
Driving instructor Kevin Bridge, of Grantham Driving School, said the town’s roads are the worst he has ever seen in 10 years of teaching.
He said: “There are hundreds of holes around the town - it’s horrendous. In my job I have to drive on these roads and it’s just outrageous we have to put up with this when there must be money to make repairs.”
Area highways manager for Grantham Mark Heaton said the county council - which just last month announced £6 million in extra funding to fix our broken roads - is doing its best to stay on top of the problem.
He said: “We are doing all we can to repair potholes reported to us as quickly as possible. We’ve been making significant progress, but know there is still much to do.”
Lincolnshire County Council encourages people to contact them if they spot potholes around the town, but does it do any good?
Grantham driving instructor Kevin Bridge said he has given up reporting the many potholes he sees as the process is too time-consuming and complex and, when he makes the report, the repairs are short-term only.
Mr Bridge said: “We pay our road tax and our council tax to get roads repaired but instead a man in a van comes along and it lasts three or four days.
“They came to fill one pothole in and I saw them do it. The guy pulls up, grabs a metal plunger or something out of the van, puts a bit of tarmac on it, stamps on it and then drives over it.
“How long is that going to last? What a waste of time and taxpayers’ money maintaining holes like that.”
Readers have contacted the Journal with at least a dozen pothole blackspots. Some of the worst are Brook Street outside the King’s School, Earlesfield Lane, coming off the A1 at Gonerby, Gonerby Hill Foot and Reedings Road in Barrowby.
The county council says the poor weather of late has increased the number and size of potholes while also making repairs difficult.
Area highways manager for Grantham Mark Heaton said: “The teams are working tirelessly on potholes as we become aware of problems appearing.
“Sometimes, it’s not as simple as filling a hole – we have also identified, planned and, in some cases, already tackled larger patching schemes which are needed following the wet autumn and winter.”
Mr Heaton added that he hopes the £6 million-plus extra Government funding to repair the county’s roads will ease the problems.
Potholes should be reported to the county council on 01522 782070.