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In recent weeks both John Austen and I have done a lot of travelling between southern Kent, the West Dorset coast, Manchester and many roads in between, and we've been disgusted by all the potholes. We're agreed that my home town, Epsom, seems to be the winner in pothole numbers, size and depth, and although I rarely see John display anything akin to road rage, I could tell he was far from happy when driving through Epsom recently.
One in my road repaired five months ago has already failed, with vehicles pebble-dashing innocent bystanders at the nearby bus stop, with chunks of gravel and - with the weather the way it's been - filthy rainwater. The hole's getting deeper; when it isn't waterlogged, you can no longer see the bottom of it from the path. When traffic allows I generally drive straddled across the centre line to avoid the holes. Mind you - holes isn't perhaps the best way to describe them and I'm wondering whether Epsom is starting to form its own Rift Valley.
When I can't straddle two lanes, I weave around like a drunk driver. I'm not the only one either and it's clearly dangerous. Aware of a survey carried out into driver behaviour and thoughts regarding potholes, I came across 'The RAC Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects' which had me chuckling with its pictures and descriptions of the various types of potholes, such as 'alligator', 'slalom' and 'moonscape'. It ended up in a real belly-laugh when I reached 'The Windermere'. Yes - I know the one! It's not really funny though, is it?
It's soul-destroying enough to have to sit in traffic for hours on end - particularly if you have to do it on the same stretch of road, five days a week, but to find that when you are actually moving, you're lurching around on unkempt road surfaces and into their depths... well - what if you have a lorry load of expensive cleaning equipment in the back of your van? Then there's the danger of unloading everything and going over on your ankle down a pothole and perhaps unwittingly damaging what you're carrying. I'd love to know, have you had/made any complaints about damaged goods/vehicles as a result of potholes and if so, what was the local council's reaction if you passed the complaint to them?
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3rd May 2018