Drivers express pothole worries as Somerset roads crumble
THE region's roads appear to be crumbling after one of the wettest years on record.
Potholes and surface tears have appeared all around south Somerset, leaving motorists and the taxpayer with spiralling repair costs.
This week Western Gazette photographers snapped several of the worst stretches of road around Yeovil, including Mudford Road, Westbourne Grove, and the A37 near Chilthorne Domer.
Scores of readers commented on our Facebook page about the state of the area's roads.
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Sally Ann Sturmey posted: "There's a ridiculous pothole between Queen Camel and Marston Magna that we hit yesterday, it completely throws you off course. I'm surprised someone hasn't crashed there."
Karen Bowring posted: "There's one on the junction at the top of St Michael's near the Fleur de Lys. It's the worse one I've seen."
Sarah Wellman posted: "The one on Mount Pleasant is horrid and can't be avoided. Also the road out to Ilchester from Yeovil is bad."
Yeovil Town Councillor Jon Gleeson has urged people to report any potholes to Somerset County Council.
He said: "The A37 between Yeovil Marsh and Ilchester is littered with them. I've reported potholes and cracks in Greenwood Road and Elliots Drive too."
A study by Halfords Autocentres found that eight million vehicles a year suffer steering and suspension damage as a result of poorly-maintained road surfaces – with one driver affected every four seconds.
The average repair bill is estimated to cost £135. Local authorities are having to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to fix the nation's roads.
The figures show that in December complaints over potholes almost doubled compared to the previous year.
A separate AA survey found that drivers and cyclists had to tackle an average of more than six potholes per mile.
A pothole occurs when the surface of the road or footpath has been eroded. Cold and wet weather has a major impact in causing the road surface to crumble.
Somerset County Council said it had filled 20,000 potholes, completely resurfaced 26 miles of road and surface dressed a further 200 miles in 2012.
A council spokesman said: "We are inspecting roads and potholes reported to us, and it is important that any member of the public calls Somerset Highways on 0845 345 9155 or e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org if they find a pothole or any other problem with a road.
"Last year was the second wettest year since rainfall records began, meaning that road surfaces across Somerset have been more badly affected by wear and tear than would usually be expected.
"We still aim to repair all potholes according to our own standards, meaning that large potholes on busy roads would be fixed within a few hours of being reported while those on D class roads should be done within 28 days."
How is the state of the roads near where you live? Have you been affected by potholes? Send your pictures and experiences to email@example.com.
If your car has been damaged by potholes, click here to see our Somerset garage and motors listings.