After the ice, prepare for the potholes

Drivers were today urged to watch out for new potholes created by the recent freezing weather.

SUFFOLK: Drivers were today urged to watch out for new potholes created by the recent freezing weather.

Weeks of snow and ice have left roads in a perilous state - and are likely to land Suffolk County Council with a potentially huge repair bill.

Last year the council had to pump an extra �150,000 into an emergency operation to repair damaged roads.

Highways bosses do not yet know how many potholes have been created this time around, as the figures are still being collated, but they expect the number to be higher than usual.

A spokesperson for the county council said: “Our highways team has been gearing up to respond to any emergency road repairs following this current bad weather.

“Naturally, potholes are caused and worsened by freezing and thawing of the road surface and the current extreme weather conditions are likely to present additional issues to contend with once the temperatures begin to rise again.

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“The council will respond promptly to reports of any dangerous potholes to improve the safety of our road users.”

Potholes are formed by water penetrating the asphalt surface of the road through cracks caused by traffic.

When temperatures plunge, the water freezes, expands and causes the surface to rupture.

When the ice melts, it leaves a void below the surface, which caves in under the stress of vehicles and eventually forms a pothole.

Crackers Patel, RAC Patrol Ambassador of the Year, said: “If you are familiar with the road, try and plan to position yourself safely to avoid them.

“Before pulling out, however, always check the road ahead and behind, don't drive close to the car in front or pull out suddenly to avoid a hole.

“Watch the traffic flow - if you find that everyone in front of you is making an unexpected detour, take heed. They may be swerving to avoid a pothole in the road.”

Are potholes a problem where you live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail