A NUMBER of potholes, circled with the words “fix me” daubed next to them in white paint, have appeared in Swanage.

The mystery painter, who could be prosecuted if caught 'white-handed', has struck in Shore Road and other parts of town within the past seven days.

Meanwhile, Swanage Mayor Bill Trite, who says he cannot condone the action, told the Echo: “I do, however, fully understand the irritation and frustration behind them because I'm also frustrated and irritated by the state of Swanage's roads.”

County authorities are aware of the unofficial road markings, which will be attended to along with the offending potholes by the end of the week, they say Mr Trite said: “For many months we've been trying to get action from the county council in respect of road repairs in and around Swanage.”

He says the general condition of Swanage's roads are the worst he's ever known anywhere.

Commenting on the daubed potholes, Swanage resident Robin Boultwood said: “If anyone on a motorbike hit one, they'd be a goner.

“The roads have never been that good, but with all the rain we've had, bits have washed away. Let's hope the powers-that-be-get the message.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It is a bit cheeky. It may just be someone having a bit of fun. Some of these can do real damage to your suspension though. They are a pain.”

Dorset County Council warns anyone marking the road in this way could find themselves before a court of law.

County routine maintenance manager Martin Hill said: “We have found several potholes in Swanage that have been marked in this way. It is illegal and anyone caught doing it could be prosecuted.

“We haven't received any enquiries about these potholes. Our local inspection team had already indentified the potholes before the markings were made and they would have been added to the work schedule for the next week.

“It's important to note that the roads in Swanage are in no worse state than the rest of the country or country.”

The Daily Echo is working on a story about potholes across Dorset. If you know of any particularly dangerous ones, please email digital@bournemouthecho.co.uk