HOSTING a stage of the Tour de France in Colchester would quickly solve the town’s pothole woes, MP Sir Bob Russell told colleagues.

The Lib Dem told the House of Commons every yard of the route the world’s top cyclists will travel when the tour reaches Essex on July 7 had been surveyed for potholes and problems marked for repair.

But because the closest the race comes to Colchester is Braintree, Sir Bob claimed the borough was being “wilfully neglected”.

He said: “Clearly Essex County Council considers that cyclists from around the world are worthy of greater attention and safety consideration than the residents of Essex whose council tax will go towards the cost of making the Tour de France route safe.

"Professional cyclists toppling from their machines because of an Essex pothole would not look good.”

He added: “So, if I can get the Tour de France to come to Colchester it would ensure that our potholes are filled in.

“I am sure my constituents could design a route to maximise the roads and potholes to be attended to in their area.”

Sir Bob repeated calls for responsibility for highways, pavement and street lights to be returned from Essex County Council to Colchester Council.