AS A frequent road user, like so many of you I am sure, I am alarmed by the number of potholes and poor repairs on our roads around the county.

Not only are the surfaces uncomfortable to drive on, jarring the back and causing drivers to swerve, but when you smash across an unexpected deep dent in the road it can be very dangerous. In the early twilight and dark evenings, it is almost impossible to see where these potholes lie.

The other day, when driving back from a visit to the cinema in the early evening with my grandchildren, my front wheel banged into an exceptionally deep pothole. On arriving home, all visibly shaken, we were further alarmed when their father showed us his ripped front tyre. He had fallen foul of the same pothole a mere 30 minutes before us. On examination, it was clear my tyre was punctured as well.

East Lothian Courier: Mary ContiniMary Contini (Image: Contributed)

Considering the extreme weather we are experiencing and the continuous digging up of roads to lay fibre broadband cables, gas and water pipes, it is not surprising that the patched-up surfaces are cracking again and again under the strain. This is exacerbated by the increased number of heavy lorries and vans caused by housebuilding and the consequential inexorable rise in private road users.

The technician in the Dunbar MOT Centre who fitted a new tyre on my car told me he had never been busier. The highways department has a huge backlog of road repairs and they appear to merely fill in the holes rather than investing in completely sealing them. For this reason, the holes keep re-appearing. Tyres, wheel rims, shock absorbers and springs are the casualties.

To make things worse, the excess number of speed bumps on our roads are also impacting on car suspensions, not to mention spinal strain and back pressure on the driver and passengers.

Is there a short-term solution to these problems? The short-termism is the problem. We need a comprehensive long-term solution. The situation as it stands is a risk to road user safety.