A LEADING councillor has slammed a competition to highlight Wales’ worst potholes after a photograph of a Wrexham road came out on top.

Last month the National Assembly launched a contest asking residents to send in pictures of the worst affected roads in the country.

Earlier this week the winning entry was revealed as an image of a lorry passing a large pothole on the A525 near Bronington, which was taken by Antony Maybury from Wrexham.

Mr Maybury compared travelling on the county’s roads to ‘driving the Mars Rover’ and called for Wrexham Council to take action.

However, the authority’s lead member for environment and transport has now criticised the contest and said the Welsh Government should focus on increasing funding for road repairs instead.

Cllr David A Bithell said: “We are currently spending over £3m on improving our road surfaces. We recognise that we, along with most other local authorities, are faced with a mammoth task following the harsh winter we had and the detrimental effect it had on the road surfaces.

“I’m not sure how helpful this current exercise by the Welsh Government has been apart from highlighting the gross underspend from national governments in maintaining road surfaces.

“A copy of our highways repairs programme is available on our website.”

The competition was launched to raise awareness of a committee inquiry into the state of Welsh roads which will publish its findings in the autumn.

Speaking after his photo was picked out, Mr Maybury said: “I entered the competition as the roads around Wrexham are very bad. Every journey I make I feel as if I’m driving the Mars Rover.

“The roads are in a sorry state and something needs to be done. I feel as if my council do not care so by winning I now hope Wrexham Council take action and make our roads safer.”

His winning photograph will feature on the cover of the National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s report and be part of an exhibition showcased at the Senedd from September 3 to 14.

Russell George AM, who chairs the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee, said: “We chose the winning image because the very size of the lorry’s wheels really puts into perspective the size of the pothole problem, not just on that stretch of road, but across the country.

“While this has been a light-hearted part of our inquiry the state of our roads is a serious business, as it not only makes them uncomfortable but also loses the country time and money every day.”

Alongside the competition, the committee has taken evidence from a wide range of road users, businesses and engineering experts and will publish its findings in October.