FLINTSHIRE residents are going potty over the state of the roads across the county.

The Leader has had a surging response from drivers who believe potholes are of utmost concern along Flintshire’s B-roads, especially in rural areas.

The worst areas, according to residents, are Caerwys, Buckley, Flint Coast Road, Alltami Road, Halkyn, Abermorddu, and Rhes Y Cae.

Residents poured scorn over a BBC survey last month which claimed that Flintshire was the area with the lowest proportion of poor quality roads in Wales, at just five per cent, according to the BBC’s shared data unit measuring road quality in Wales during 2016-2017.

But the survey has left craters of concern open for Flintshire road-users who have retaliated, claiming that potholes in the county are “a serious risk to public health” and a “joke.”

The issue seems to have worsened following the adverse weather conditions in February and March.

The Leader took to Facebook’s A55 Traffic, Incidents and Information group where an overwhelming response was received by angered motorists from across Flintshire.

Huw Wickham, of Bagillt, said: “The council don’t care. There are some potholes out there posing a serious risk to public health. I personally think nothing will be done until somebody dies or is seriously maimed as a direct result of the joke they call roads.”

Stewart Roberts, Deeside, said: “Potholes are getting worse in the area - we have had a very wet summer and winter which has not helped the situation.

“I don’t think there is a half mile stretch of road anywhere without a pothole. The last two years have seen serious deterioration of roads in north east Wales.

“Another problem on rural roads in the area is road edges collapsing, most of this is due to ever-increasing size and weight of farm tractors and trailers.”

Danielle McIntyre, of Rhes Y Cae, agrees that rural roads are a gaping problem. She said: “We get forgotten about in rural areas although we pay plenty of council tax. Our quarried stone is used on roads throughout the UK but we can’t keep the mountain roads properly.

“The road from Rhes y Cae was fairly impassable. The council repaired it very roughly and I doubt it will last a month - a waste of money. The whole road needs doing really as it looks like a patchwork quilt.”

Rachel Davies, of Caerwys, fears that people are “swerving into the path of other vehicles to avoid them.”

She said: “We get a lot of through-traffic in Caerwys so they’re beginning to be churned up once again.”

Potholes aren’t just a recipe for disaster for car owners, as many motorcyclists have also contacted the Leader expressing their fears.

Glenn Forbes, also of Caerwys, said: “Potholes could seriously injure or kill us bikers. How long before a biker is killed with these potholes?”

Helen Hughes, of Holywell, said: “I have a 125 scooter and its horrible to drive along Flintshire roads. I am dodging the potholes, as you can’t just go over them on a scooter, which has me weaving over the road to the annoyance of other drivers. I will come off my bike if I have to go over potholes - they are huge ruining my suspension, and it’s dire.”

Howard Hughes, of Greenfield, and North Wales representative for the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) expressed how potholes are troubling for motorcyclists, especially the inexperienced.

Mr Hughes told the Leader: “The damage potholes do to a car’s suspension is a concern to every driver. But the damage caused to motorcycles is not just to the suspension, but to the fabric of many bikes.

“I have lost mirror classes due to hitting potholes, but by far the worst damage is to the riders skin as they bounce down the road. What can be a broken shock absorber in a car can be a death to a biker.

“I particularly worry about the young, less experienced rider on a small wheeled Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) which are particularly susceptible to being destabilised by potholes, potentially throwing the rider into the path of a following car.”

Flintshire is being used as a “cash cow” in the Welsh Government funding schemes, according to Flintshire Cllr Janet Axworthy, representing Ewloe, who said Flintshire should be “better fed financially.’’

Cllr Axworthy said: “I would like to see more money coming north from Cardiff. Out of the 22 devolved local governments in Wales, Flintshire is 19th in terms of the money it receives in handouts from the Welsh Assembly.

“Despite the fact Flintshire is at the heart of the Welsh economy, with the Deeside Enterprise Zone and Airbus, it is being used as a cash cow. Flintshire County Council can only do as much regarding potholes as they’re able to.

“They’re being forced to increase council tax rates because they’re simply not receiving adequate support from Cardiff.

“When was the last time money was spent on roads in North Wales?”

Flintshire Cllr Carol Ellis, Buckley Mountain, claimed the roadwork issues are more akin to “craters” as opposed to “potholes.”

She said: “Something has to be done about this. I know it costs a lot to repair, and there are constraints on Flintshire Council’s budget - but the issue must be addressed.”

Harvey Mitchell, Flintshire council’s waste and ancillary services manager said: “A prolonged winter period, with sustained periods of snow and cold, wet weather conditions has resulted in an increase in the number of potholes across the county road network. Inspections have been undertaken to identify these defects and significant resources have been allocated to carry out the required remedial works, with several teams from our Streetscene department allocated to filling in potholes.

“In addition to the small scale remedial works currently taking place, Streetscene and Transportation continually assess the condition of our highway network to identify roads for inclusion within the Authorities carriageway resurfacing and surface treatment programmes. All sites identified as requiring this type of work are scored against an agreed matrix and then prioritised, costed and included in a programme for the coming year.

Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transportation Cllr Carolyn Thomas added: “We currently have several teams working on filling potholes which is a priority. The prolonged, cold, spells are not helping as we need dry weather for the work to be more effective.

“They are cutting and ‘hot- filling’ whenever possible.

She added: “Potholes can be reported through the Flintshire County Council website or the Streetscene Contact Centre on 01352 071234.”