Return of the pothole painter: Swanage's mystery vigilante returns to highlight road problems (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Return of the pothole painter: Swanage's mystery vigilante returns to highlight road problems
SWANAGE’S ‘phantom pothole painter’ has struck again.
Now the mystery campaigner has surfaced once more, daubing the words “Mind the Gap” along potholed Shore Road.
Linda Kelly, one of scores of drivers commenting online, said: “Whoever he/she is, thank you, as along the seafront I play dodge the holes. Thanks to the mystery painter I managed to miss a deeper hole and avoided damaging my car.”
Meanwhile, motorist Stacey Churchill said: “I’m sick of being a rally driver and trying my best to avoid them.”
Other residents insist no-one should take the law into their own hands. Indeed Dorset County Council has warned anyone marking the road could find themselves before a court of law.
But Swanage Mayor Bill Trite stopped short of condemning the mystery painter. He said: “I cannot condone the actions of the phantom pothole painter, but has he – or she – helped or hindered the need to get this matter recognised and addressed by the county council?”
He went onto suggest the present outbreak of potholes has been exacerbated by the already poor state of Swanage’s roads.
“Whereas I know that dealing with the latest pothole epidemic is stretching highways to the limit right across Dorset,” he added. “It is the earlier neglect which greatly contributes to making things so bad around here.”
Cllr Trite, who welcomed county highway chief Peter Finney to Swanage earlier this month to check out the potholes for himself, added: “At Peter Finney’s request I have, with the help of the town council staff and members, drawn up a list of locations in Swanage where we know the road and pavement conditions to be bad. It is a very long list.”
Cllr Trite says county officers have “promised to see what can be done.”
County council routine highways manager Martin Hill said: “Our aim is to fix the most serious category of pothole within 32 hours. Less urgent types of pothole are identified for repair within 28 days.”