Disabled woman 'scared' to leave the house amid pothole problem in South Gloucestershire

  • Watch Robert Murphy's report.

Potholes have been causing misery in South Gloucestershire, with one disabled woman reportedly "scared" to leave the house because of them.

Bob Keen has been cycling for 82 years but the potholes of Yate have made him covert to three wheels.

Mr Keen said: "They're getting worse, there's no doubt about it and they're a major problem for cyclists.

"That's one reason why I use the tricycle. It's much more stable and although you'll have a bump and maybe split a tyre, you're unlikely to end up on the floor with a broken hip."

Cheryl Kirby, the Mayor of Yate, is angry at the state of the roads in her town.

She said: "I think I'm frustrated more than anything else that you need your infrastructure, whether it be a city, a town, a village, for your community to work, travel, get to school.

"And when it starts to deteriorate, that affects your local economy. We're standing here outside three schools with major bus services coming through.

"We've got heavy lorries coming through and it's like they're negotiating a farm track."

Councillor Chris Willmore said: "We've got one resident, she wrote to me, she's elderly, she uses a wheelchair and she's so scared she will not go out in her wheelchair anymore because she can't cope with the potholes on the roads and the pavements, to get about.

"So it's having a direct impact on particularly older people and of course, mobility. Twist your ankle in one of these on a wet day and that's a broken ankle for an elderly person."

A recent survey suggested that Bristol had the worst potholes in the region, but South Gloucestershire Council had not entered certain data. Campaigners say the problem there is even worse, but the council disagreed.

Mark King, from the council, said: "Our performance is pretty good really when compared to our service levels and and our neighbours.

"We've had 3,500 reports since January and that's just reports of multiple potholes in and around the whole of the area and we've attended to them probably 80% of the time, within our service level agreement."

More government cash for "potholes fund"

The Government has allocated an extra £200 million to its "Potholes Fund" for 2023-2024.

This is on top of the existing highways maintenance funding settlement announced in the October 2021 Spending Review.

That committed over £2.7 billion of local highways maintenance funding between tax years 2022 and 2025 to local authorities outside of London and the eight largest city regions.

The Department for Transport said on the government website: "DfT strongly advocates a risk-based whole lifecycle asset management approach to local authority highways maintenance programmes.

"This considers all parts of the highway network, such as bridges, cycleways, and lighting columns – and not just the fixing of potholes."