Editor’s weekly column: Take responsibility for potholes damage

Neil Pickford is the editor of the Harborough Mail
Neil Pickford is the editor of the Harborough Mail

Modern life is full of frustrations but few things seem to upset us as much as the proliferation of potholes.

Drivers across Harborough and beyond have reported a dramatic increase in the number of such potholes.

Read the Mail’s report on the potholes here: Potholes around town are causing concerns.

This anecdotal evidence has this week been backed by the county council’s highways team, who say that the number of reports of potholes has soared in recent months (343 reports from January-March this year, compared to 200 in the same period last year).

They say there are reasons for this, including the recent spell of wet weather.

But why is it that drivers and motorists get so upset about potholes?

The reason could be very simple.

We pay an awful lot of local and national tax for our public services, and over time we have seen those services eroded as both local and national Government tries to balance the books.

The thing about potholes is that they are so visible.

They are a physical representation of what many perceive to be a lack of spending on basic maintenance as belts are tightened.

They – rightly or wrongly – represent an opportunity for us to vent our frustration at those in power.

And this frustration is exacerbated by the perception that local authorities will do all they can to abdicate responsibility for any damage motorists suffer to their cars as a result these potholes.

Yes, the onus should be on all drivers to report problems, but local authorities must also take responsibility for the damage.

They are responsible for the state of our roads and must pay up if those roads are not up to standard.

Column by Neil Pickford.

Follow Neil on Twitter, @NeilPickfordHM.