Somerset

Condition of M5 near Bridgwater raises concerns

Concerns have been raised about the condition of the M5 through Somerset.

The Highways Agency has put up a sign warning drivers about the pitted and broken road surface on the southbound carriageway, just after junction 23 at Bridgwater North.

But the agency said the "road defect" was not an emergency and would be repaired within two weeks.

John Bullock, from the Asphalt Industry Alliance, said he thought it was a safety hazard.

"They've got a run of asphalt that's coming out of the surface and, also, I did notice at least one pothole in the main wheel track of the road as well, which is surprising for a motorway surface," Mr Bullock said.

"I know they have basic rules to work to in terms of the depth of the hole or the size of the hole, but I'm very surprised something hasn't been done there before now because it is, in my view, a safety hazard."

'Inconvenience to road-user'

The Highways Agency said the condition of that part of the motorway did not meet the criteria of its emergency 24-hour repair programme.

It also said the combination of wet weather followed by extreme cold had made the roads deteriorate more quickly than usual.

Paul Watters, from the AA, said: "We are certainly getting reports of motorway potholes and motorway rough surfaces quite widely now, so it is a bit of a worry that perhaps things that would previously have been dealt with straight away are maybe being left, out of efficiency's sake, to do later.

"But we have to think about inconvenience to the road-user as well."

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