Torrential rain and wet weather has created “havoc” on Sussex roads – with hundreds of potholes forming in a matter of weeks.

Transport bosses across the county said they have received more than 1,200 reports since Christmas of craters being created on its crumbling highways network.

With the bad weather finally passing, crews are being sent to carry out emergency repairs on the worst areas in a bid to keep Sussex moving.

Council bosses have urged residents to drive safely and report any cracks so they can prioritise clearing the backlog. Six hundred potholes have been reported to West Sussex County Council since Christmas Eve.

Pieter Montyn, the council’s transport cabinet member, said: “We are dealing with the havoc caused by some of the worst wet weather for over a century and, while we cannot get on top of this situation overnight, we ask drivers to please be patient and bear with us while we fix these problems.

“In the meantime, the onus is on road users to drive responsibly and take greater care when out on the roads.”

Experts said wet weather and freezing temperatures causes an increase in the numbers of potholes as when water freezes it expands and breaks up the tarmac.

Washed away

Transport bosses said surface water made problems with existing cracks worse because it washed away loose particles of road surface whenever vehicles pass over them.

In addition to the regular programme of repairs, ‘pothole patrol’ crews will be deployed to target areas where the problems are worst.

Roger Williams, head of highways at East Sussex County Council said: “We've had similar problems to West Sussex with more than 500 potholes reported to us since Christmas Eve.

“Following periods of severe weather, we do have extra work to deal with but we aim to prioritise and fix the main problems as soon as we can.

“We do inspect our roads but it’s always a huge help to have the eyes and ears of the people who travel those routes every day.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “About 100 potholes were reported to us over the Christmas period. We respond to all pothole reports within 24 hours. If we can’t fill them immediately we make them safe with barriers or similar until we can.”

Report a pothole

WEST SUSSEX: email or call 01243 642105.

EAST SUSSEX visit or call 0345 60 80 193.

BRIGHTON AND HOVE email or call 01273 292251.

Are the potholes driving you potty in your street? Tell us where the worst affected areas are by calling The Argus newsroom on 01273 455527.

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