Mr Pothole's done it again - 'crater' near Brackley is filled in within hours of BBC film highlighting a huge pothole West Northants said could take five months to repair

Mr Pothole - aka Mark Morrell from Brackley - has done it again. Within hours of a BBC consumer film showing a vast pothole near Brackley, it was filled in.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 2:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 2:54 pm
Mr Pothole - Mark Morrell - is pictured on the BBC film at Radstone, near Brackley
Mr Pothole - Mark Morrell - is pictured on the BBC film at Radstone, near Brackley

The filming was done for the TV consumer programme BBC Morning Live with Matt Allbright. Mr Morrell took the presenter to a deep pothole near the hamlet of Radstone, near Brackley after West Northants Council said the repair could take up to five months to be done.

The film was broadcast yesterday morning (Monday) and by this morning the pothole had been repaired.

"It's funny what being on BBC Morning Live did for this dangerous defect," said Mr Morrell.

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Nicknamed Mr Pothole, Mr Morrell has campaigned nationwide for several years for more to be done to keep the country's road surfaces in good repair. He said the Radstone pothole was nothing unusual. But deep as it is, it is a particular danger during the winter.

"Potholes like this get covered in surface water and can't be seen at this time of year making them lethal for cyclists, damaging to vehicles and a hazard to horse riders.

"Part of the filming for BBC Morning Live was me using a bucket to clear it out to show the depth and Matt Allwright was using a broom. It was that bad," he said.

On the video Matt Allbright described the pothole as a 'crater'.

The pothole is disguised by water from the nearby field, making it an even worse danger to cars, cyclists and horse riders

Mr Morrell said: "That road floods from the field side and that pothole had to be swept out to be able to show it to Matt. The danger for drivers is that they can't see it until their vehicle has landed in it - the same for cyclists, who it could be fatal for.

"The pothole was marked up with paint and I looked back on the history and saw it had been on Fix My Street for quite a while. I put another report in and said it was going to be on national TV. The council said it was going to take up to five months to repair.

"If a cyclist hits it they will be knocked off - and horse riders will be at risk. It could be lethal. The Sun did a report saying 250 cyclists had been killed or seriously injured because of potholes in last five years.

"That whole road needs resurfacing. There is no public transport so residents have to use a car - and there are no footpaths. They have major problems in West Northants which has inherited a huge backlog of roads maintenance from South Northants Council. They have no funding to do it and now they face a 20 per cent cut in funds from the Government. They are between a rock and a hard place.

Mark Morrell buckets out water to show Matt Allbright, sweeping, the depth of the pothole

"They're going out to tender to choose a contractor. That might mean better repairs that last longer than they currently do," he said.

Mr Morrell said Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire commit to repairs within 28 days.

"For West Northants to consider leaving that for five months is crazy," he said.

If you are unable to see the BBC film on the page go to https://youtu.be/xAxKI23o2LY

The repaired pothole, hours later