And so it goes on and on, as one pothole is repaired, so another inevitably follows on.

But why? That I am afraid is obvious, bad maintenance or neglect?

Make your choice, but first do one thing, look closely at the sub surface exposed, and you will see the gravel underlay, it should be, but often is not, graded by size and type.

Too often you will see that although it should be of uniform size, that does not always follow, too often you will find the odd stone much bigger than the standard size surrounding it. Indeed it often appears a specific or standard grade that should be used, is not.

Ah I hear you say, so what?

Simply put, differential movement of the gravel occurs when pressure from the traffic bears down on the surface, as the lorry above passes over, that much bigger stone, its displacement, is not proportionate to that of the adjoining gravel facing the same pressures, inevitably a space is left, and hay you have the beginning of yet another pothole, and so the hole left grows ever more large, until inevitably it breaks to the surface.

Some years ago making the same point differently, the Echo headlined my letter "The return of the trench inspector" not so funny now though is it.

Quality control should not be left with the contractor, if this had been work in the private sector, the owners of large sites would have had its own "clerk of the works" inspecting the work on a daily basis, and if judged to be inadequate they would have have been told in no uncertain terms to pull it up and start again!

Unfortunately no such officer appears to be appointed!

For the record, in the late sixties, early seventies I was the chairman of the old Public Works committee, followed by being elected chair of planning and deputy leader of the council.

And for some 20, "The Queens Visitor" to the University of Southampton.

Ah yes, following the contractors appointment they immediately published in your paper a disclaimer, if I may say so a bit rich.

I wonder why that was!

Alan Reynard.