CAMPAIGN: This week the Eastbourne Herald launches its Pothole Watch campaign

Pot Holes in Royal Parade, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180803-100730008
Pot Holes in Royal Parade, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180803-100730008

Cratered...cracked...damaged. We’ve all had enough of our roads becoming unbearable and unsafe.

It was National Pothole Day yesterday (Thursday). But this is very much a local issue too.

Pot Holes in Royal Parade, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180803-100807008

Pot Holes in Royal Parade, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180803-100807008

The shocking state of many of our roads is something that affects us all.

And it’s getting worse.

That’s why the Eastbourne Herald is launching a campaign this week

to improve the surfaces of our roads. Whether you’re a driver, cyclist or pedestrian, potholes are a costly and dangerous menace as vehicles attempt to swerve to avoid a looming crater or bounce through them risking uncertain damage or causing an accident.

Many people have been left counting the personal cost of a close encounter with a pothole and felt the frustration of wondering why, when we pay so much in various taxes, the roads which are at the heart of all aspects of daily life are in such bad way.

Of course, potholes are not a new problem and the authorities responsible for tackling them are well aware of the problem – but the dramatic variations in temperature and weather conditions in recent weeks has exacerbated the issue.

Let us be clear, we do not blame our local authorities and councils for the dire state of some of our roads and the purpose of this campaign is not to unfairly criticise them or their highways teams.

In recent years they have had their budgets severely pruned and difficult choices have had to be made.

But enough is enough.

The road network is core infrastructure for the economy, for residents and for the emergency services. It is vital it is improved.

So this is what we are asking of you today.

Send us a photo or video of a pothole that is causing you greatest concern. You can do that by e-mail, by post, or on our social media pages – all the details are above on this page. At the same time include a few details of where it is. Please copy this information to the council. Make sure that when you are taking a photo you do so safely and do not put yourself at risk from traffic.

For our part, we will be speaking to the council about the pothole concerns that you raise and, working with our sister newspapers across England, will support them in any lobbying of central government for additional funding.

Potholes may sound trivial. They are anything but. They have the potential to cause serious accidents and inflict substantial damage on our vehicles.

Improving our roads is essential to making our communities safer and better places in which to live and work.

•An East Sussex Highways spokesman said their hard-working staff do an ‘excellent job’. However, they are expecting to see an increase in potholes over the next few months due to the freezing weather conditions of recent weeks.

“We do understand that the issue of potholes is one that concerns residents and affects their day-to-day life.

“Our staff do a fantastic job of keeping the county’s roads in a good state of repair and have in the last year fixed around 30,000 potholes across East Sussex.

“Highways stewards carry out regular inspections of all the county’s roads and pothole repairs are carried out in response to their inspections and the reports we receive from the public.

“Potholes usually occur when roads freeze and thaw repeatedly, and we are expecting to see an increase in the number of potholes over the next few months as a result of the recent cold snap. To cope with this expected increase, we are allocating extra crews so we can repair more potholes around the county.

“We actively encourage residents to report details of potholes to us so we can arrange repairs where appropriate and the best way to do this is via our website at www.eastsussexhighways.com or, alternatively, by calling our contact centre on 0345 60 80 193.”