Hastings and Rother potholes: 'We have had enough' - say angry campaigners

Organisers behind a Facebook campaign set up to highlight the state of the roads in Hastings and Rother have said they have ‘had enough’ of the pothole problem, demanding highways bosses ‘take responsibility’.

Last month, the Facebook group, Hastings & Rother Potholes the great zig zag drive, was set up by angry residents.

It now has more than 1,200 members, sharing photographs and locations of bad potholes, along with links on where to report them.

A number of people on the group said they had been left with bills for burst and damaged tyres, after hitting potholes at low speeds.

Recently, Stagecoach stopped running its services along Harrow Lane in St Leonards due to the poor state of the road surface. A number of its routes were diverted until resurfacing works were completed.

Addressing East Sussex Highways, Jacqueline Patton, who represents the Facebook group, said: “People’s property is being destroyed, people are being injured, impacting on their livelihood and lives. Ambulances are in jeopardy on the way to someone’s loved one on your dangerous, undriveable roads.

“Change is needed, an efficient way to report and a long-term plan of maintenance, proper repairs that last and do not cause a secondary hazard, quick repairs, new criteria and construction sites made to make roads safe as they go along.

“Take ownership and responsibility. No excuses. Resurface, repair and never let our roads get this bad again. We have had enough.”

Cllr Phil Scott said: “For my part as an East Sussex county councillor in Hollington & Wishing Tree and indeed across county I have been a constant in terms of both reporting and raising at East Sussex County Council meetings.

“I have raised the issue many times of the contract specification and criteria which only sees potholes repaired if they are 40mm or above. It’s ridiculous because if you have, for example, a cluster of potholes and all but one or two meet the criteria then the rest are simply left.

“I have argued till blue in the face with East Sussex County Council about reducing the criteria so that many more would get filled. I have also argued that the quality of pothole filling is both poor quality and not acceptable at all. Finally the cost to the taxpayer is huge and the potholes that are being filled with tarmac, many are being revisited within days for further intervention.”

An East Sussex Highways spokesperson said: “Since the start of the new East Sussex Highways contract in May 2023, our teams have repaired 2,488 potholes the Hastings area alone. We prioritise repairs to ensure that the potholes presenting the greatest risk are repaired as quickly as possible.

“To repair every pothole on the network regardless of whether it meets our intervention levels would cost about four times the amount currently spent, and would place an even greater burden on council tax payers.

“The majority of our investment in the county’s road network focusses on preventative maintenance such as patching and resurfacing to stop potholes appearing in the first place and we do this by looking at road condition and priorities against the available budget.

“Our highways stewards carry out regular checks on road across the county, but with more than 2,000 miles of carriageway to monitor, we would urge the public to report any defects directly to us at www.eastsussexhighways.com.”