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Hidden dangers of potholes 'cause accidents'
Kennington parish councillor Roger Gelder examines potholes on Kennington Road. Picture: Damian Halliwell
SOME pothole-plagued roads are “like the surface of the moon”, angry drivers have claimed.
The Oxford Mail was inundated with responses when it asked residents to point out pothole hotspots after statistics showed the number had trebled in five years.
Jimmy Hetherington, of Cowley Road, said he waited two months for the council to fill a pothole four times the length of his shoe.
He said: “As it got quite deep it claimed about four car tyres, and a cyclist’s front wheel and face.
“He hit the hole, landed on his face, and then nearly got run over by the car behind him.”
Mr Hetherington said an hour before the incident he had reported that it was likely to cause an accident but had been “fobbed off”.
He added: “This started on December 14 due to a broken water main. Thames Water came out and repaired the broken water main but since then the hole has opened up time and time again and been temporarily refilled.”
Roads around Kennington in South Oxford were deemed to be some of the worst areas in the county.
Brian Ponting, from Mill Lane in Marston, said his road near the Northern Bypass was in the worst state he could remember.
He said: “These holes on Mill Lane have been here quite some time. I have lived in this area for nearly 50 years and they haven’t done anything about them.
“There are problems on the pavement and on the road. If a cyclist hits one it could be very dangerous.
“That isn’t very safe, especially when there are cars parked by the side of the road and you can’t see the cars driving down the road.”
Roger Gelder, a Kennington parish councillor who lives in Poplar Grove, said: “You can’t drive around here and not notice them, they are unavoidable. We are seeing fairly serious deterioration of the roads around the village.
“The area near the school is considered to be pretty bad and there are new holes breaking up every week.”
Danny Phillips reported Walterbush Road in Chipping Norton and said: “It's like driving on the moon.”
Oxford City Council Liberal Democrat group leader Jean Fooks said she had reported a large pothole near Carfax in the city centre after a member of the public injured themselves stepping into it.
Ms Fooks said: “I’ve reported it myself twice, I know at least one other person has.
“Someone has also reported an elderly man tripped in it.
“They don’t seem to realise how bad it is or how dangerous it is, and it is a huge problem for cyclists too. Surely something like this will be a priority, it should take two weeks not two months.”