Last week National Pothole Day drew attention to an issue that, for many people, is the bane of their existence.
Potholes tear up tires, damage suspensions and send cyclists flying – posing a risk to motorists and pedestrians alike.
Winter’s cold, wet weather only exacerbates the problem and many roads across the county are riddled with these unsightly craters.
People are demanding action and, as the recipient of our taxes, West Sussex County Council bares the brunt of the public’s outrage.
But with the council’s budgets stretched by repeated cuts to public services, it is up to us to bang the drum and make sure our local authority treats this serious issue as a priority.
That is why we are resurrecting the Herald & Gazette’s Pothole Watch campaign.
Is there a particular pothole you have to dodge on your commute? Has your buggy been caught in a crumbling bit of road? We want to hear from you. Send details – and a picture if you can safely take one – to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the council, roads are inspected according to ‘hierarchy’, with busy A-roads inspected more frequently than quieter roads.
That makes it even more important for residents to report problem potholes to the council that could go unnoticed on residential streets.
The Love West Sussex app allows residents to report issues such as potholes, fly-tipping and graffiti so the local authority can investigate.
Two Worthing councillors, Lib Dems Martin McCabe and Bob Smytherman, have been leading the fight against potholes for years.
On National Pothole Day, on January 15, the pair were out all over Worthing highlighting the state of our crumbling roads and Martin has vowed to maintain the charge.
“We’re grateful to local people who worked with us in highlighting the worst potholes around the town,” he said.
“We reported so many potholes that at one point we caused the Love West Sussex app to crash. We’re urging West Sussex County Council to get a grip and fix our broken roads.
“The current repairs being done just aren’t good enough. They fall apart quickly. It’s a false economy.
“We’re grateful to the Worthing Herald for their support on this and we back the Herald’s Pothole Watch. We’ll keep working for an end to the local pothole crisis.”
The county council is responsible for the vast majority of roads in West Sussex – around 2,500 miles worth. Only the A27, A23 and M23 fall outside of its remit.
A spokesman for the county council said 18,514 potholes were repaired last year, an average of around 350 per week, with £8.9million invested in its prevention and repair strategy.
‘Significantly-sized’ potholes are repaired within 28 days, the spokesman said, or sooner if considered severe.