'Hundreds' of potholes near Biggleswade will 'inevitably cause fatal accident'

Cold weather has lead to an increase in road damage
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Potholes could lead to "a fatal accident" on a road near Biggleswade claim residents, as many cars fall victim to its 'craters'.

A large number of potholes have been reported along the stretch of Edworth Road via FixMyStreet.com, with a "particulary nasty" one located near the bridge over the railway.

It is claimed that several motorists have fallen victim to this "A3 sized" hole in January alone, while it is feared that the many potholes along the stretch are an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

The damaged wheel. Image: David McGrath.The damaged wheel. Image: David McGrath.
The damaged wheel. Image: David McGrath.

Motorist and Langford resident, David McGrath, claimed: "My wife and I were travelling up along the road and we came to the humpback bridge, but we hit a pothole which damaged our left front wheel. The bridge has a single track either side, it's very narrow, so even if you could see the pothole you can't swerve or you will hit oncoming traffic coming up over the blind bridge. But it happened to us at about 5pm and it was dark; there's no lighting there.

"On the [Central Bedfordshire] council website, you will see that on that stretch of road there's hundreds of repairs that need carrying out, and dozens of sets of potholes. What happened to us could have been a lot worse. It's extremely dangerous and my bet is that there will inevitably be some sort of fatal accident."

One of Mr McGrath's front tyres and wheels were damaged, so he visited the team at Langford Service Garage. The bill came to over £300, and Mr McGrath believes that CBC should be paying compensation to all drivers affected.

Meanwhile, Russell Gunn, the garage proprietor, claimed that many motorists have been affected: "The main problem is on the Edworth Road. They [CBC] did a repair all down that road about six weeks ago, which is an absoloutely ridiculous repair. It lasted about ten days. I've no idea what they did, but it was the incorrect method. The worst pothole is just over the railway bridge, it must be the size of an A3 bit of paper and three inches deep."

Mr Gunn says that in the last month he has repaired "too many cars to count" because of the potholes, which buckle alloy wheels, and three this past weekend. [January 14].

Cold weather across the country has impacted road conditions, causing more potholes and other road defects.

A CBC spokesman said: “The extended period of severe winter weather conditions experienced before Christmas was the coldest in Bedfordshire since 2010. These lengthy and unprecedented cold conditions have unfortunately led to an increase in the number of potholes and seen cracks widening on both roads and footways. This is a problem being experienced right across the UK.

“Despite the difficult conditions, our Highways Team is working hard to keep the network safe. Where a defect is deemed unsafe and poses a serious risk to the public, we carry out repairs as quickly as possible. We appreciate residents have been particularly affected this winter.

“Pothole repairs have been completed at Edworth Road, Langford on Wednesday 11 January and Wednesday 18 January and arrangements have been made for a pothole sweep to be completed today (19 January) from Station Road to the water tower on Edworth Road.

“Despite the issues caused by winter weather, we have made real progress on our highways this year (2022/23). We have invested over £20million in the highways network and made significant progress with our Highways Annual Plan.

“We have already completed around 80% of the plan including 89 carriageway schemes, 60 traffic management schemes and 34 footway schemes.

“Part of our investment has included £2.5million from the Department for Transport’s Pothole Fund which has allowed us to repair more than 1,800 potholes already this financial year. We are working hard to provide quality highways maintenance work for the benefit of our residents and road users.”

> Have you experienced issues with potholes? Do you know of any particularly bad ones that have yet to be fixed? Let us know your experiences or send us your pictures at [email protected]