A CAMPAIGNING councillor has been left frustrated in his plea for pothole repair priorities to be changed in a bid to “save lives.”

Colchester councillor Dave Harris put forward a motion at a full meeting of Essex County Council.

After learning the council has paid out £2.1million in compensation due to potholes damaging vehicles over the past six years, Mr Harris hoped to see repair priorities changed to reflect “the greatest need.”

But the Labour councillor was left disappointed after the motion was blocked by the Conservative administration.

He said: “People have said time and time again estate roads are left with a low priority - to be monitored and periodically inspected.

“Potholes are getting so bad it is a danger, especially to bikers and cyclists.

“I have spoken to residents not only in my division but in several areas of Colchester and reported many, many defects.

“I had a look at some of these while on my motorbike, and saw the high risk to life and limb that exists for two-wheeled road users.”

He added: “Even Essex County Council has invested in cycle routes.

“Just think of that irony, the message is ‘Use your bike for work and leisure, but risk adding your name to the A and E waiting list’.

“We heard recently that £2.1 million has been paid out due to damages caused by potholes.

“How many potholes, loose kerbstones, and path defects would £2.1million pay for?

“My motion asked the council to amend pothole categorisation to prioritise roads with the highest usage, to get repairs directed away from rural back roads and into the areas where the majority of the population lives.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “The council is investing £66 million into improving roads this year, of which well over half is being spent on local roads. “Road surfacing and repairs of potholes are all carried out to exactly the same standards.

“A pothole in a rural back road is prioritised for repair in exactly the same way as an town estate road - according to risk.

“To decide this, we take into account how many vehicles are using the road as well as the size and position of the pothole to decide all pothole repairs.”