POTHOLES on roads in Tynedale are close to becoming life threatening, an MP has warned.
Hexham Conservative Guy Opperman said the state of the roads in his snow-struck constituency were reaching a critical state.
Complaints are pouring in from motorists who have suffered car damage. And the potholes are causing numerous near-misses between vehicles desperately trying to avoid them, he added.
Mr Opperman said the potholes of Tynedale “are on the verge of becoming life-threatening” and “had passed the point of simply being a nuisance”.
He declared: “The roads in Tynedale are in an increasingly poor state. I am very worried that it won’t be a long time before we see a major accident because of the state they are in.
“The roads, especially west of Hexham towards the Cumbrian and Durham borders, are in a very poor condition in some places.”
Lib Dem deputy leader Roger Styring has admitted the county council was making temporary repairs which he described as “a bucket of bodge”.
And Mr Opperman added: “That comment did not fill me or the members of the public with any confidence.” Haltwhistle county councillor Ian Hutchinson backed the MP’s call and said: “The county needs to address this problem before it gets out of hand.
“As county councillors, we are getting more and more reports of the poor state of our roads.”
Last month Northumberland received a lion’s-share £11.8m of extra Government funding for road maintenance in the North East.
But Mr Opperman said the Tynedale roads were “in crisis” and added: “I am concerned that the council seems intent on spending most of this money on Rothbury and not on the rest of the county.”
Hexhamshire councillor Peter Trevelyan, who last winter compiled a pothole map, said: “We are encouraging people and residents to phone in directly about potholes.
“They seem to respond, especially if there is an element of danger.”
Coun Styring said: “Our highways staff will react quickly and do a temporary repair so that vehicles are not damaged, and then they will go back and do a long-term repair as soon as possible.
“We carried out 25,000 pothole repairs last year, and the flooding, followed by snow and ice, have caused even more damage to the roads.”
He said that when the weather improves, staff will be able to assess the damage and plan repairs.