Navigating the bone-rattling, car breaking potholes in Fife's roads

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If there was an award for Pothole of the Year, I suspect we’d generate enough entries to fill them all in - twice over.

It’s incredible how quickly some roads seem to deteriorate once the first mini crater appears.

Take the Adam Smith Theatre junction at Weymssfield - the most pointless, un-necessary four-way traffic system ever devised in the region, but I digress.

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Coming up from the Town House to Bennochy Road, you suddenly start bouncing around as though you were in a 4x4 on an off-road driving experience you got as a Christmas pressie.

Pothole Pete was used to measure the depth of potholes in the capital city (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)Pothole Pete was used to measure the depth of potholes in the capital city (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)
Pothole Pete was used to measure the depth of potholes in the capital city (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

One pothole seems to have become several, all held together with what’s left of the road surface. It’s a complete mess, and it’ll damage your car’s suspension as well as any driver’s ill-fitting dentures. With one set of traffic lights at a 45-degree angle and barricaded off, it’s hardly the best impression to give visitors.

Co-incidentally, we had roadworks at our front door recently. Out of nowhere a three-way contra flow was set up - must have missed the handy notice you used to get through your door - to tackle a cracker of a pothole.

Two days later the road was as smooth as a billiard table - well, except for the sunken drain cover which was literally three feet away from the one they came to fill in. That left us scratching our heads, and then we saw the other pothole round the corner, which formed part of the same diversion, had been left exposed to the elements.

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I get that there are only ‘x’ £s in the council piggy bank, and there’s a to do list so long you can’t see the end, but wouldn’t it have made sense just to sort them all out in one fell swoop? There was a time when the gaffer would have spotted said potholes and told the lads to fill ‘em in while they were there, but these days have gone. Maybe we should adopt the railway’s slogan of ‘“see it, sort it.”

Fife is, of course, not alone in having a road network that is falling to bits in places. Edinburgh’s roads are simply appalling.

Try heading up Morrison Street to Lothian Road and you’ll find a piece of tarmac that is, well, more pothole than bitumen, while Abbeyhill’s terrain would test the suspension of a top of the range Landrover. I’m not sure what the collective noun is for a gathering of potholes - a crater? - but you’ll find a few of them there.

I was interested to see this week that Fife Lib Dems said of all the claims lodged by motorists in Fife for burst tires and knackered suspensions, just four were settled in their favour. Four? There are more potholes round my garden than that.

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I did see a pic recently of a pothole which had a pillow stuffed into it, possibly to prevent further vehicle damage or maybe to ease the pain of the driver smacking his head off it. My colleagues at the Evening News in Edinburgh also had a‘Pothole Pete’ gnome they used to show the depth of some problems.

Elsewhere I read of folk putting plants in potholes to turn an ugly eyesore into something more beautiful as well as making a point. Naturally, they were removed as a potential hazard. Sometimes local authorities don’t do irony.