A GROUP of community leaders have vented their frustration at the state of the roads in Romsey, which are covered in potholes.

Now the group, made up of local Liberal Democrat councillors, are urging Hampshire County Council (HCC) to fix the growing amount of potholes, after finding they have deteriorated “in the last 12 months” due to budget cuts.

It is believed the worst potholes are located on Winchester Hill, Winchester Road, Stanbridge Lane and Latimer Street.

Braishfield parish councillor Sally Yalden said: “In the past 12 months the potholes have certainly got worse and I think as councillors it is our duty to provide that basic infrastructure.

“I have talked regularly with the other Lib Dem councillors and we are looking at what improvements need to be made and what is not happening locally. I know someone from the local council said the money is not there, because of the cuts from Hampshire County Council, and I think it is frustrating for the public and councillors.”

She added: “I think contractors are not repairing them properly and, because the money is not there to do things properly, nothing is happening to these places which could be fixed.

“It does not help that we are paying our taxes and you expect better when you are living in what is deemed as a good area.

“On HCC’s website where you can report potholes, you will be surprised to see how many have not been reported and if they are not reported then they will get worse.”

Councillor Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, added: “In the past 12 months, the council has had to pay out over £157,000 in compensation (excluding trees and subsidence claims), and that’s excluding the cost of legal costs incurred.

“I expect many more people will have forked out for repairs out of their own pockets.”

Councillor Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, added: “I’m reporting potholes and pavement defects on behalf of the community on a regular basis.

“Some of these repairs have been marked up for months now, but nothing has happened; it’s frustrating.”

In response, Cllr Rob Humby, transport and environment chief at HCC, said: “Our highways teams work all year round to repair and protect the county’s 5,500 miles of road but it is no surprise that exceptional rainfall this winter, particularly in recent weeks, is taking its toll.

“Recognising the extra damage that has been caused, when setting the county council’s budget for the next financial year, we took the decision to invest an additional £5 million in road maintenance.”