RESIDENTS are being forced to fill in potholes themselves as Wrexham faces a £40 million backlog in road repairs.

The state of the county’s roads attracted significant criticism as councillors met to discuss Wrexham Council’s highways policy, with representatives in rural communities claiming some surfaces had not been relaid for 60 years.

Concerns were raised regarding the state of the road network on Wrexham Industrial Estate and the length of time it takes the council to respond to damage reports.

It was also revealed that almost £53,000 has been paid out to motorists in the last five years as a result of claims against the authority.

During the meeting, council leader Mark Pritchard outlined the scale of the backlog currently facing the area, and said the only solution was for more money to be provided by central government.

Holt councillor Mike Morris was one of the members who spoke out about the condition of roads in his ward.

He said: “You could be waiting months and months and months, and the roads have become impassable.

“I’ve even had instances where, in terms of potholes, a resident has actually been out with half a barrel of cement and filled it in himself because it was six months later and right in the line of the tyres.

“There are major issues in rural areas, it’s not just about A and B roads and in recent years we do seem to have gone down that road.

“Roads within the Wrexham Industrial Estate, some of those are like trying to cross Minera Mountain with no tyres on your car.”

A competition launched by the National Assembly earlier this year highlighted the county’s roads as some of the worst in Wales.

In July, the winning entry was revealed as an image of a lorry passing a large pothole on the A525 near Bronington, which was taken by Wrexham resident Antony Maybury.

Cllr Trevor Bates, who represents the Ceiriog Valley, said some roads in his ward had not been repaired for decades.

He said that residents in the area felt ‘excluded’, as well as those in other rural parts of Wrexham.

He said:  “A lot of our roads are getting beyond the state of repair and potholes appearing.

“What should be one consistent, smooth road surface now looks like a patchwork quilt of lumps and tarmac mixed with hardcore, soil and concrete where locals are now having to adopt a do it yourself approach to protecting their suspension, steering rack and track rod ends.

“Some roads in my ward have not been resurfaced for over 60 years and as you can imagine we’re having to invest in 4×4 vehicles to get around.”

Highways officer Darren Williams said that because of the lack of resources, roads were often given a temporary repair first to make sure they are safe, before a more complete repair is carried out.

He said roads with thousands of people travelling on them were more likely to be prioritised than rural routes. Cllr Pritchard said the scale of repairs was climbing and admitted the council did not hold the answer to solving the problem.

He said: “The bluntness of it is we don’t have enough money to continually invest in our roads.

“We’ve got a £40 million backlog, that tells you the story so we have to prioritise it.

“It’s a conundrum that we haven’t got the answers for and the only answer for me would be is for the government of the day to put more money into our roads and infrastructure because we are losing the battle.

“It isn’t just us in Wrexham as a place but all over the country.”

Despite the concerns, executive board members unanimously voted to approve the authority’s highways safety inspection policy and winter service policy.