Police PRAISE potholes because 'they help slow down speeding traffic'
29th May 2023

Police PRAISE potholes and urge stunned villagers to leave them unfilled because ‘they help slow down speeding traffic’

  • Police in Pentlow, Essex, said potholes are useful for slowing down traffic
  • Villagers warned unfilled potholes could cause accidents on the road

Police in a tiny Essex village have spoken out in favour of potholes – by claiming they’re useful for slowing down traffic.  

A bobby told stunned villagers in Pentlow, near Sudbury, that leaving potholes in the road is one of the best ways of tackling speeding drivers.  

The Essex Police officer praised the benefits of holes in the road at the tiny village’s annual meeting. 

Stunned villagers hit out at the police officer’s comments as they warned the potholes could cause accidents. 

The plans were, however, backed by local councilors, who said any way of slowing down traffic would be ‘welcome’. 

Police in Pentlow, near Sudbury, said potholes are useful for slowing down speeding drivers

‘It was extraordinary,’ one local said. ‘The official police advice apparently is that potholes are a good thing, so leave craters in the road because they slow down drivers. 

READ MORE: The pothole millionaire: Motorist injured by road crater is paid more than £1.1M by Labour-run Welsh Government after four-year battle 

‘We were also advised to park our cars to form a chicane like you get on race-tracks as another way of reducing speeds. ‘

‘Our main street is in a pretty bad way but the council don’t seem to bother about small places – there is a stretch of busy road near here that had dozens of huge holes and had to be closed completely for repairs.  

‘But we only get a few dozen cars a day through here and at night it’s completely quiet.

‘Leaving the craters in the road would probably cause drivers to swerve suddenly and that could cause an accident too.’ 

The police officer’s comments follow news that pothole related breakdowns have surged by almost a third over the previous year – with AA crews now attending 1,700 pothole related incidents a day. 

In the March budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged an extra £200 million in funding to tackle England’s pothole problems – with a view to increasing the size of the pot from £500 million to £700 million. 

Another villager said: ‘If the policeman was being funny frankly it wasn’t amusing – road safety is very important to us – a lot of cars and vans go much too fast through this village. 

‘Traffic often exceeds the 30mph limit here and it’s very dangerous for kids and pets apart from anything else. 

‘I saw a one driver recently changing his wheel after going through – it is easy to pick up a puncture or damage a rim. But frankly anything that slows traffic down is welcome.’ 

Parish councillor Melanie Davies said: ‘Anything that helps slow drivers down is welcome – and if the officer was being serious then it might serve as means of making motorists driver more slowly. ‘

In March, chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged an extra £200million to fix England’s potholes

‘Potholes do make people slow down and can cause serious damage to vehicles. Some of them are so bad here that they do need to be filled it. But traffic calming is the most important thing for our safety.’ 

Councillor Julian Calver said: ‘It’s not totally a bad idea – the potholes certainly make drivers reduce their speed through here. ‘ 

Villager Anne Hastings-Smith who was the public meeting earlier this month said: ‘The comment was taken quite seriously as it prompted a discussion by councillors about speeding in the village. 

‘The officer told the meeting of his new district commander’s stated intention of cutting down road deaths and improving road safety. It was in that context that the officer said potholes were ‘good’ to calm traffic.’ 

Mrs Hastings-Smith added: ‘The Essex County councillor for our area is always telling us how Essex Highways have undertaken research into new ways to tackle potholes – but nothing is ever done.’  

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