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More than 5,000 potholes reported in Cambridgeshire - as garage tells of huge rise in burst tyres and damaged suspensions





A garage has been placing traffic cones in the road to prevent drivers from wrecking their cars after a plague of huge potholes sprung up on Cambridgeshire roads, leaving many people with burst tyres, cracked wheels and damaged suspension.

Cambridgeshire County Council admits there are currently more than 5,000 potholes in Cambridgeshire waiting to be filled following freezing weather this winter.

Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704214)
Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704214)

And garage owner Sean Manchett, of Manchetts in Burwell, has warned that some of the potholes he has seen were “massive” and would cause “horrific” injuries if hit by a motorcyclist.

He said: “We put four cones out in the village last weekend, because there were two very dangerous potholes along the Newmarket to Burwell Road outside the GP surgery.

“They are absolutely cavernous and would not only do serious wheel damage, they would also cause suspension and steering damage if you hit them at any speed. You can tell by how deep the cone has gone into the pothole that it has to be significantly deep and that would terrible damage if a motorcyclist hit it. That would be horrific.”

Sean says he has seen “a significant uplift” in people needing replacement tyres and recovery because of broken alloys and suspension due to the potholes.

Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704102)
Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704102)

Burwell resident Lisa Waterfield Parnell said: “We were driving on Ness Road in the village just outside the cemetery in the dark on the day before Christmas Eve and hit this almighty hole. The next day, Christmas Eve was a nightmare because I needed to drive to visit my dad in his care home but we didn’t have a wheel brace to take off my tyre to get it to a garage in time for them before they closed. Finally got it done on December 28 for the sum of £148.50. What a pain – but I guess I have to suck it up like the rest of the village.”

Another stretch of road just outside Cambridge has become notorious after 19 potholes appeared there in recent days and there are many reports about them on the county council’s pothole reporting site.

Writing about Comberton Road in Barton, one person reported “several enormous potholes which would cause severe damage”, adding: “Had a car swerve on to my side of the road to avoid them. Please fix them urgently as it is so dangerous.”

Pothole oustide the entrance of ARU on East Road at the top of Bradmore Street. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704091)
Pothole oustide the entrance of ARU on East Road at the top of Bradmore Street. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704091)

The council said: “We assess non-emergency highway faults within 10 working days, and we aim to fix emergency highway faults as soon as possible. If a fault is deemed a risk to the public, we always prioritise them. The time it takes to fix a pothole or fault depends on the size, location and other external factors.”

The time that the council allows itself for pothole repairs depends on the type of road. On minor roads, potholes up to 8cm deep are not considered severe enough to repair.

At more than 8cm deep, if deemed a ‘significant risk to public safety’, they aim to fix them in five days. If there is ‘some risk to public safety’, the wait is 21 days. Potholes on urban roads are supposed to be fixed between five and 21 days if they are deeper than 5cm. But at less than 5cm deep the time limit for a fix is 13 weeks.

Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704103)
Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704103)

A council spokesperson said: “We know how important our roads are which is why we are committed to continuing to prioritise regular inspections of our roads, bridges and footpaths to identify defects and get them repaired as quickly as possible. Reactive repairs, when faults happen, are prioritised against severity and risk to road users.

“Our dedicated highways inspectors work hard on maintaining this, though we can’t be everywhere at all times, which is why we encourage the public to report any potholes or highway faults using our online tool. It’s easy to use and flags any faults which have not yet been marked. We would rather have multiple reports of one fault than none at all.

Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704201)
Potholes on Mill Road near to the junction of Willis Road. Picture: Keith Heppell. (61704201)

“After the cold spell at the end of last year, it takes time for the damage in the road to cause a pothole. We’d urge drivers to be vigilant over the next few weeks and report any faults to us.”

Visit bit.ly/3k7d8Gn to report a pothole.



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