‘It looks like an aircraft has gone and dropped bombs’

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Complaints about potholes snowballed after readers saw last week’s Crawley Observer (January 9).

We reported how 70 residents had taken to Facebook within four hours to complain of potholes in Crawley’s streets.

This report stirred a huge response from readers who are concerned about damage to their cars.

Amber Bateson posted a message on the Crawley Observer Facebook page. She said a pothole in Langley Green had dislodged wheel hub caps which could be seen in a pile on the side of the road.

She said: “There is a huge pothole around a drain in Stagelands, Langley Green. It’s very deep and causing congestion as drivers try to avoid it.

“There is also a collection of hub caps appearing on the grass verge just passed it so if you have been that way and lost one then go have a look. On the last count there was eight there.”

A Lark Rise resident said she had to have her wheel trim fixed twice in two weeks after driving through potholes.

She said the holes had become difficult to avoid since the former youth centre on the road was turned into a temporary mosque, resulting in more on-street parking.

She said: “I am totally fed up, the streets were not designed for the amount of cars that are now parked, I was born in Maiden Lane in 1957 and have lived in lark Rise for over 28 years.

“We now have massive potholes in Maiden Lane and Nightingale Close which are difficult to miss due to the parking problems.

‘We have lost two wheel trims in two weeks and I am sure we are not alone.”

She said some pot holes were repaired but reappeared as soon as there was any adverse weather.

Janet Gray, 56, from Johnson Walk, Tilgate, parks her car in a garage in Gresham Walk and said there were approximately 20 potholes in the road.

She said: “It looks like an aircraft has gone down and dropped bombs.

“You have to drive really really slowly to avoid damaging your car.”

The concerned grandmother has been disappointed by repairs done by West Sussex County Council (WSCC)

She said: “They come along every now and again and put a few bits of tar in and go away but they don’t do them all, they do four or five and leave others right next to them.”

Mark Bradely, from Lamberhurst Walk, has questioned why some potholes were fixed while others in the same road are left.

He said: “I have just noticed that a couple of potholes in Greenacres have been ‘lined’ for ‘filling’. But why were potholes only approximately 30 feet away not ‘lined’ for filling?

“The ‘unlined’ holes I have men tioned have occured annually over the past few years, and are a hazard to traffic due to their location. Which begs the question of the quality of the repairs!

“We residents will now have to pay for an additional assessment team call out to deal with the other potholes, and for the annual failure of pothole fixes.

“This is a disgusting waste of money that we pay for.”

Lana Christine Coston asked why some potholes seemed to require fixing more than once and added: “If the council repaired a patch of road surrounding the pothole, eg taking the old surface off and putting new layer of tarmac down instead of filling the holes, they wouldn’t keep coming back!

“Their excuse is lack of funds, but the time and money they spend fixing the same potholes time and time again probably equates to the cost of doing it properly, then it wouldn’t need doing again for a few years.”

A spokesperson for WSCC said the potholes in Greenacres had been reported and the potholes in Johnson Walk had not. Both would be inspected this week.

The spokesperson said: “Milton Mount Avenue was inspected on Friday and the potholes were categorised according to our intervention criteria.

“With regards to the reasons why some potholes were left, this is because they do not meet our intervention criteria.

“Of course, that is not to say they may have deteriorated, or new ones appeared, since the last inspection.”

Country Land and Business Association (CLA), a rural business watchdog, has urged motorists to expect more potholes after freezing weather.

CLA South East director Robin Edwards said: “As the cold weather sets in, not only will more holes be created but it will move council staff from repairs to gritting duties.

“The only way to avoid damaging your car is to be on the lookout.”

There are three ways to report a pothole. Call 01243 642105 or visit http://love.westsussex.gov.uk/Reports or use the smartphone app.

To download the app visit www.westsussex.gov.uk and search for ‘pothole app’.

When reporting a pothole to WSCC, sending a photograph and an estimate of the width and depth of the hole can help to speed up the process of getting it repaired.