POTHOLED roads are making it dangerous to drive and cycle in Laindon, according to residents.

Badly affected streets include the High Street, Somercotes, Durham Road, and St Nicholas Lane.

However, the worst affected is The Hatterill, in Laindon, where there are more than ten holes up to half-a-metre wide and several inches deep.

Residents have called for the holes to be filled in as soon as possible before they cause a serious accident. John James, 73, of Somercotes, said: “If you drive down the roads, particularly near the railway, the holes are everywhere.

“Some of them are almost four inches deep and they badly need filling up, and if the council does not do it quickly, I am going to refuse to pay my council tax.”

Opposition Labour councillor Pat Rackley warned travelling around the area was becoming precarious. She said: “It has got to the stage now that if you were going around on a bike, some of the holes could probably knock a wheel off.

“Some of the places are really bad and it is like a minefield in certain places.”

The potholes are believed to have been caused by the recent cold weather, which causes the road surface to freeze.

Water gets in to any minor cracks, which get bigger as the ice freezes.

Essex County Council, which deals with highways issues, said filling in potholes was of high priority and asked people living near troublespots to alert it.

A spokesman for the council said: “The recent severe weather will cause damage to our roads and footpaths, and when responding to reported defects, we will be prioritising those which present the most immediate safety risk.

“We also encourage residents to report potholes via the pothole hotline, 0845 6037631.”