PROTESTING pensioners are being driven potty by dozens of holes in their quiet street.
An ugly network of potholes has appeared in Rothbury Avenue, in sleepy Monkton Village, Jarrow, over the last year or two.
One man in the street recently counted more than 80 holes in the tarmac in the quiet cul-de-sac.
Residents say the potholes are not only unsightly, but create hazards for some of the dozens of pensioners in the street, including disabled residents.
The Gazette was shown how the tarmac comes away at the slightest knock, creating even more road scarring. This week, campaigners from Rothbury Avenue took their fight for pothole action to a council meeting, where they presented a petition.
But there are claims residents are being overlooked because they live in private housing.
Despite numerous pleas to South Tyneside Council, the street remains an unsightly, ragged network of potholes.
Council bosses say they will investigate, but stress potholes are a costly local and national problem.
Norman Whitehead, who collected more than 20 names on a petition, said: “These potholes are just getting worse, and are a real hazard. I watched a neighbour in a wheelchair crossing, and worried she would have an accident.
“All the council ever does is patch up the potholes, when what we need is a proper resurfacing of Rothbury Avenue.
“Roadsweepers take the top of the road off, and the tarmac can come away in your hand.”
Pensioner Tom Collins, 65, said his wheelchair-bound wife, Barbara, also 65, experiences “real problems” crossing from one side of the street to the other because of the potholes.
Joe Woods, who has lived in Rothbury Avenue since 1974, said: “I counted 80-odd holes in the road recently.
“The council has patched up the street in the past, but we always seem to be left out, maybe because we are private tenants. And the footpaths in Rothbury Avenue haven’t been replaced since the street opened, in 1965.”
David Lloyd, 76, and his wife, Jacqueline, 72, who are original tenants, say the street is continually “neglected” when it comes to road repairs.
“There are dozens of potholes, but all the council does is patch them up. We need the whole road resurfaced,” Mr Lloyd said.
Residents presented their petition to members of Hebburn community area forum this week.
Forum vice-chairman Coun John McCabe said: “We sympathise fully with residents, but this is down to the extreme weather we have been having lately and the council’s limited resources, which means the worst potholes are repaired first.”
RESPONDING to the pothole protestors in Jarrow, a spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We recognise that potholes are of serious concern to the residents of Rothbury Avenue.
“Our highways team is currently assessing the surface damage to the road, and are reviewing the available options to help resolve the matter.
“The issue of potholes is of national significance, and not just something being isolated on a local scale, as local authorities up and down the country are experiencing similar circumstances as they battle to maintain the nation’s roads.
“The council knows that good road surfaces are essential to highway safety, and manage the resources we have as effectively as we can to ensure that our roads are maintained.
“We carry out repairs on all potholes that are reported to us, but have a limited annual budget for highways maintenance, which means we have to prioritise repairs on a ‘worst-first’ basis.
“The council does everything within its powers to ensure the roads meet national standards.”