Motorist’s fury after pothole crumbles 9 days after it was fixed

Plumber Pete Munro, 49, took regular images of a pothole in the village of Three Oaks, East Sussex, to show how quickly its repair job fell apart.

The pothole in Three Oaks, East Sussex, on day 1 (top left), day 3 (top right), day 6 (bottom left) and day 9 (bottom right), as it quickly crumbled. (Solent/BNPS)
The pothole in Three Oaks, East Sussex, on day 1 (top left), day 3 (top right), day 6 (bottom left) and day 9 (bottom right), as it quickly crumbled. (Solent/BNPS)

A motorist fed up with the state of Britain's roads has photographed a pothole that broke up and crumbled just nine days after it was supposedly repaired.

Pete Munro, 49, took regular images of the pothole on Moor Lane in the village of Three Oaks, East Sussex, to show just how quickly it returned to its original state after being fixed by council contractors.

He captured the freshly repaired surface after the pothole was originally filled in, then photographed it again two days later and spotted that large cracks had already started to appear. He returned three days later to find further cracks and a small hole in the surface.

On his final visit, nine days after the job was completed, he found a large pothole filled with water that needed repairing all over again.

Munro, a plumber, said he regularly reports potholes to East Sussex County Council, and counted 19 on his last walkabout.

"I saw some contractors repairing this pothole," he said. "It took them less than a minute to do. A couple of hours after they left I went and took a picture.

"After three days it was already breaking up, after six days there were even more cracks and a hole had appeared and after nine days it was back to being a pothole again. It's a shambles."

A spokesperson for East Sussex County Council's highways department said: "We are aware of the failed repair on Moor Lane, which was identified through our regular quality inspections.

"Whilst it is regrettable that this pothole repair has failed, we have instructed our contractor to return and carry out a more substantial repair."

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More South and South East stories - click above

Why March is the worst month for potholes and how to deal with them

Motorists might notice a surge in potholes during March as it is the transitional period between winter and spring.

The cycle of freezing then thawing is the main reason why potholes form, and those swings in temperature tend to peak in March.

Dominica Watt, a motoring expert at First Vehicle Leasing, told Yahoo News UK there are certain tips that drivers can follow to cope with potholes.

The first is to stay vigilant in order to avoid driving over a pothole in the road.

Seer Green, Buckinghamshire, UK. 1st March, 2024. Following heavy overnight rain, the country lanes in Seer Green, Buckinghamshire were flooded today. Numerous potholes have also appeared in the past few weeks that are now so treacherous that local MP Sarah Green is now involved in trying to get them repaired urgently. Credit: Maureen McLean/Alamy Live News
A number of potholes along a road in Seer Green, Buckinghamshire, at the beginning of March. (Alamy)

"Constantly scan the road ahead, particularly after rain or snow, when potholes are more likely to develop or become more visible," she said.

Watt said motorists should follow the vehicle ahead at a safe distance to have time to react if a pothole comes into view.

"This buffer zone is crucial for giving yourself enough time to respond without sudden, risky manoeuvres,' she said.

"If you can't steer clear of a pothole, reduce your speed before you reach it."

She also said drivers should check their vehicle's tyres are properly inflated to withstand the impact from potholes, and that potholes should be reported to the local council.

Why does the UK have so many potholes?

A pothole is a depression in a road surface caused by wear or sinking, staring out as tiny cracks in the surface but growing if not fixed.

The friction of vehicles' tyres on a road heats up the surface and causes it to expand, leading to cracks in the surface. Potholes are formed when water seeps into those cracks and freezes and thaws.

The UK is more susceptible to potholes because of its climate, as cold and wet weather means water can get into those cracks in the road.

The heavy road use and traffic on the UK's roads is also a factor, as is the constant budget battles raged by councils to fix potholes.

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