'Dangerous' pothole on A421 repaired in two hours

The A421 pothole, before and after repair
The A421 pothole, before and after repair

A ‘treacherous’ pothole in Buckingham ‘practically disintegrated’ overnight, prompting the town’s internet users to spring into action.

The large crack on the A421 at Embleton Way was reported to Bucks County Council on January 2, and was repaired the same morning.

The pothole had seriously deteriorated over the weekend

The pothole had seriously deteriorated over the weekend

Hilary Whates, the Buckingham resident of over 30 years who originally posted the complaint, said that posting to community Facebook group ‘Buckingham: What Matters To You’ helped speed the process along.

She said: “The power of social media kicked in and that seems to have done the trick. I’m delighted that they were able to fix it so quickly because it was extremely dangerous. I popped out to get some milk from the local garage and noticed the damage then. When I passed by again the next morning, a huge part of the road had disintegrated.”

“That road experiences a lot of heavy traffic, motorists and pedestrians who are not used to the road, for them, it could have been really dangerous. It was falling to bits.”

Town Mayor Cllr Jon Harvey reported the hazard to the council after noticing Hilary’s photo, posted at 9.04am. The Transport for Bucks (TfB) website listed the repair as ‘completed’ at 11.55am.

The images were captured by resident Hilary Whates and posted to Facebook

The images were captured by resident Hilary Whates and posted to Facebook

Cllr Harvey said: "I have been using social media for over 20 years. I have been flamed and trolled and probably spent way too many very late nights arguing with someone who is 'wrong' on the internet. But overall social media brings people together, alerts people to new ideas, new potholes and new information. It is a phenomenon with far more pluses than minuses in my opinion - don't also forget to report the potholes to Bucks County Council directly.

"'If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got' seems to be the motto of how the County Council approaches road maintenance. We need a new way of keeping our roads free from hazardous potholes. Let 2018 be the year in which the County tries and achieves something different."

A spokesperson at TfB said: “This particular section of the road has not been subject to recent resurfacing. Like all road surfaces, it is vulnerable during times of cold weather to more rapid deterioration as water freezes within small cracks in the carriageway surface, effectively forcing cracks apart and breaking up the road surface.

“This is however an extreme example, where an old section of reinstated road has broken up particularly quickly. For clarity, the reinstatement predates 2009 and is not a utility responsibility.

“TfB have resources on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year to be able to attend rapidly to such instances where

the safety of the travelling public may be potentially compromised should the defect not be attended immediately.”