On Wednesday morning, Andrew Crotty lay down in the pothole in Buckhurst Road to show East Sussex Highways how big it was.
He said he did so after the council wrote to him saying the pothole – located next to a bus stop outside a block of flats and close to a school – did not meet the criteria for repair.
In a letter to Mr Crotty, East Sussex Highways said ‘although there are areas of poor condition, these did not currently meet our intervention level’. The letter said carriageway with a change level ‘greater than 40mm and at least 300mm in all other directions will be scheduled for repair within 28 days’.
However, on Thursday (April 8), the county council said Mr Crotty was ‘incorrectly advised’.
An East Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the pothole on Buckhurst Place and have apologised to Mr Crotty that he was incorrectly advised the pothole didn’t meet our criteria for repair.
“Following an inspection by our Highways Steward this week, investigations are taking place to establish the cause of the damage to the road surface and to determine what repairs are necessary.
“We have been in contact with Mr Crotty to advise him of the situation.”
Mr Crotty confirmed he had been contacted by the county council on Thursday. In an email sent to Mr Crotty, seen by this newspaper, East Sussex Highways said: “I appreciate that you have previously been informed there are no immediate safety concerns with this section of the road, however we should have informed you that considerations for further works to take place here is currently being investigated.
There is a high-pressure gas main under this section of Buckhurst Road which meant we couldn’t carry out works here when working on other parts of the road in the past. We are also currently liaising with South East Water and Southern Water about this as they have equipment under the road here. Following feedback from the waterboard, we will work with Southern Gas Network as we continue our investigations into the potential works mentioned above.”
Mr Crotty had raised the issue of mains running under the road on Wednesday when he noticed a fire hydrant located next to the pothole which he assumed was there in case of a fire in the block of flats. He said he raised the issue with the fire service to ensure the dip in the road was not having an impact on the water pressure below.
Mr Crotty said he observed motorists swerving out of the way of the pothole on Wednesday morning, as well as an ambulance ‘rattling up the road’ after being driven over it.
“I’m not sure what else needs to happen for it to be repaired,” added Mr Crotty. “Cars are already swerving which is dangerous for all other road users, and what if a school child were to trip when crossing the road? Will it take an accident for something to be done?
“It’s the school half term at the moment so there was time for the road to be repaired if they had sorted it as soon as possible.”