The leader of Colchester Council says that while penis paintings around potholes may offend some people, “being let down for months and months by Essex County Council is more offensive to me.”
We’ve previously reported on ‘Wanksy’, a North Manchester campaigner who goads his local council into repairing potholes by painting penises around them.
The Daily Gazette reports that similar graffiti appeared around several potholes in Wivenhoe over the weekend.
Wivenhoe, you’re so cheeky pic.twitter.com/l5tm3dNNjr
— Wendy McMahon (@gwendabird) September 21, 2020
Wivenhoe ward councillor Mark Cory said his main issue was Essex County Council failing to address the road defects.
“I have reported these potholes over the past year,” he said. “They filled some, but left many to grow larger and more dangerous.
“Driving into Wivenhoe is now an obstacle course. At least this new graffiti marks out the potholes to avoid. It is unacceptable Essex County Council had to be shamed into action.”
He suggested Colchester Council should be handed responsibility for road repairs.
An Essex Highways spokesman said the penis graffiti wouldn’t get the potholes any higher up the jobs list.
“Drawing pictures around defects in a road can be both distractingly dangerous to drivers and offensive to passers-by, especially children.
“It doesn’t make any difference to our road maintenance priorities as we deal with defects using a risk assessment process that enables us to deal with the worst problems first.
“Essex Highways will be sending engineers out imminently to do some ‘make safe’ repairs to some of the potholes in the road.
“Whilst there we will also seek to disguise or remove the offending images.”
Research from Cycling UK shows that pothole claims from cyclists cost councils 25 times more to settle in terms of compensation and legal costs than those from motorists.
This is because while motorists are likely to be claiming for damage to vehicles, cyclists are far more likely to seek be seeking compensation for injury.
The charity says that on average, claims from cyclists cost £88,000 to settle, with £45m in total paid out during the past five years.
However, if highway authorities can argue they didn't know about a defect, a cyclist may struggle to win a claim for compensation.
Cycling UK therefore recommends that road users report defects to the relevant authorities via their Fill That Hole app and website.