Potholes are causing a nightmare for residents across south Essex – with councils revealing they have more than 400 currently in need of repair.

The cold weather has made the issue worse, with the frozen water getting into cracks in the road surface and expanding, causing larger holes to develop.

Southend Council has revealed it is looking into 296 potholes that have been logged.

The council is putting an extra £100,000 towards fixing the potholes, and has established two “patchwork gangs” to go round and repair them.

Figures from Essex County Council have revealed there are tonnes of potholes that are being lined up for repair and residents are urging the council to take the same approach as Southend Council.

In the Basildon borough, there are 134 potholes the council is looking to repair urgently in Basildon, 52 in Billericay, nine in Little Burstead, two in Ramsden and Crays Hill and one in Shotgate.

In Benfleet, there are 61 and Canvey has 39 that will soon be fixed.

Residents across south Essex said the problem needs to be urgently addressed.

Sarah Dale, who lives in Basildon, said Courtauld Road, Basildon, was particularly bad.

She said: “There are so many down there, people look like they are drunk driving when they are going round them.

“My husband had to have a new tyre after bursting it on one down there.

“The council and highways agency aren’t taking responsibility, so we have to foot the bill.”

A Canvey resident added that he had to fork out £278 for a new tyre after hitting a pothole on the A130.

Eunice Brockman, of Mount Close, Wickford, added: “It is unbelievable.

“We could hold a raft race in some of them they are that deep and others are so bad I was thinking of contacting Tony Robinson to see if they want to film an episode of the Time Team.”

Tony Cox, councillor for transport, waste and regulatory services at Southend Council, said: “Potholes can prove to be very costly, for road users as well as the council, so it is vital that we take appropriate action to help protect residents and motorists in the town.”

Councillor Ian Grundy, cabinet member for highways at Essex Council, said: “Right across the UK, and certainly including Essex, the recent very cold weather has caused water to freeze deep within road surfaces.

“Inevitably, freezing water cracks and disintegrates the asphalt and when traffic uses the road potholes quickly result.

“We now have around 20 of our own crews working on both emergency “make safe” fixes and the longer-term and bigger jobs of permanent repairs.

“We have added an additional ten crews from our partner companies, being paid for by the Government’s “pothole fund,

“Even with this extra workforce tackling potholes, it will still take some time to work through the potholes and other faults caused by the Beast from the East weather, so we are asking road users to be patient.

“As of April 1, the county council is investing an extra £3million in pothole repairs across Essex.”