A PLEDGE to spend £3 million extra on repairing potholes has been branded a “small consolation” to drivers who risk “life and limb” on Colchester’s roads.

Essex County Council bosses are expected to rubber-stamp the cash as part of its budget this evening.

As part of plans an extra £3 million is set to be allocated to pothole and pavement repairs.

The council confirmed in the past year it had repaired more than 5,000 potholes and resurfaced more than 400 miles of road.

But Colchester councillor Dave Harris said pot hole repairs in estates across the borough were “not good enough.”

He added: “I am certainly grateful for the investment, but of course it is not enough.

“You only have to do some cycling or motorcycling around Colchester to see for yourself how dire some of the roads are.

“Some pot holes have been let go to such an extent it is ridiculous.

“It is the priority issue - the estate roads are often left until the last minute while they fall apart.

“Queen Elizabeth Way, for a 100 yard stretch, was repaired four times between Christmas and January.

“They put a bucket full of tarmac in the holes and it all comes back out. For me it is all about changing the priority of repair so the quality is better - so they don’t have to come out three or four times a year to repair the same stretch.

“To my mind the whole of the Shrub End estate and the Monkwick estate are in urgent need of resurfacing work.

“If you are a cyclist out at night and the pothole is filled with water it is next to invisible.

“You are risking life and limb.”

Terry Charles, 60, is in the process of seeking compensation from Essex Highways after he drove over a “particularly nasty” pothole in Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester.

After failing to notice the hole, his wheel suffered extensive damage.

He insists “throwing more money” at the problem would do little without changing the way the authority repairs the road surfaces.

He said: “I think if you’ve got a gaping wound you don’t put a plaster over it.

“It needs a full operation and patching over it just means it will be a problem again in the near future.

“That particular road is a danger not only to road users but to pedestrians.

“It is very dimly-lit along there and in the evening some of the potholes weren’t noticeable until they are unavoidable.

“If I drive a car with burst tires I would expect to be called up on it.

“if I drive a car and burst a wheel on a road that is not fit for purpose, the system that put that road in place should be culpable - it is as simple as that.”

Highways boss Ian Grundy said: "We know how vital roads are to residents and that is why, for the last year, we have resurfaced more than three million square metres of Essex roads each summer.

“We have also pledged to increase spending on road repairs from £14 million to £17 million in this year’s budget which will be discussed at full council today.

"Many of the repairs that we do on roads and footways out of this budget are temporary repairs of dangerous issues ahead of planned maintenance further down the line.”