Suffolk's pothole horror revealed

TRANSPORT bosses today admitted the bitter winter freeze had left Suffolk's crumbling road network riddled with gaping potholes.

Josh Warwick

TRANSPORT bosses today admitted the bitter winter freeze had left Suffolk's crumbling road network riddled with gaping potholes.

The epidemic has become so severe that the cash-strapped county council has been forced to urgently pump an extra �150,000 into an emergency operation to repair the shredded tarmac.

Transport chief Guy McGregor said numbers of motorists reporting pot holes in Suffolk had rocketed five-fold in recent weeks.

Gangs of road-workers have been out continually in a desperate bid to repair damaged carriageways.

However, a number of motorists have fallen foul of the problem, with garages reporting increases in pothole-related damage.

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Mr McGregor, who discussed the issue with East of England minister Barbara Follett recently, said continuous sub-zero temperatures had caused havoc on the county's roads but vowed they would make the roads safe.

He said: Most of the minor roads in the county are very thin and when the ground freezes it puts a major strain on the surface.

“However, it is not possible to have every pot hole repaired so people must drive with caution.

“We have an obligation to maintain the carriageway but all of us who use the roads must be aware the network will suffer.”

The potholes form where water penetrates the road, freezes and expands, breaking the surface apart.

Among the areas worst hit in Ipswich have been Tuddenham Road, Romney Road, Cromer Road, Nacton Road, Heywood Close and Sheldrake Drive, where huge lacerations have appeared during the last month.

Meanwhile, emergency repairs have been carried out across the region including to sections of the A14 after potholes appeared.

Darren Chambers, workshop manager at the GW Autoserve mechanics in Holywells Close, Ipswich, said his firm had noticed a dramatic increase in numbers of vehicles damaged due to potholes.

He said: “Customers are coming in with damaged tyres and wheels.

“It's obvious they have hit something because we are noticing that the vehicle's tracking is out, too.

“I have had my own alloys damaged by potholes. You can't always avoid them.”

The problem is not confined to Suffolk - motoring group The AA estimates there has been a 40 per cent increase in road damage from the last fortnight's severe weather, pushing the number of potholes in the UK up to 1.5 million.

- To report a pot hole, call the council hotline on 08456 066067.

- Send us your pictures of potholes you have spotted to Evening Star news desk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

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