Brackley campaigner ‘Mr Pothole’ to star in ITV documentary

Mr Pothole, Mark Morrell, with potholes between Greatworth and Halse. NNL-180503-160309009
Mr Pothole, Mark Morrell, with potholes between Greatworth and Halse. NNL-180503-160309009

Brackley campaigner ‘Mr Pothole’ stars in an upcoming ITV documentary about the fight to get Britain’s roads repaired and the hundreds of injuries caused by defects every year.

Mark Morrell, who is currently the mayor of Brackley, will be on the small screen when ‘Pothole Wars’ airs on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday, January 15.

Mark Morrell aka Mr Pothole delivers a legal notice to Northamptonshire County Council over a pothole. Picture: Leila Coker

Mark Morrell aka Mr Pothole delivers a legal notice to Northamptonshire County Council over a pothole. Picture: Leila Coker

In the show, ‘Mr Pothole’ explains how his battle to get damaged roads repaired from Farthinghoe to Tennessee has seen him become a ‘pain in the a***’ for councils, in his words.

Having worked with the Banbury Guardian to identify the worst potholes in Banbury and get them fixed, Mr Morrell said he is looking forward to seeing the documentary, which they did a lot of filming around the Brackley area for.

“You never know what might come from it but I’m trying to make this year the ‘Year of the Pothole’,” he said.

‘Pothole Wars’ depicts how local authorities’ pothole gangs work round the clock to fill in the cratered asphalt, and how so-called ‘pothole vigilantes’ have taken matters into their own hands to stop cars being damaged on the nation’s roads.

Despite the government promising £420m to help councils tackle the problem, critics claim decades of underfunding and the pressure of 30m vehicles has inflicted a patchwork of battle scars on the streets, exacerbated by extreme weather in recent years.

David Giles from the Asphalt Industry Alliance explains: “Even if the money was available, it would take 14 years to bring the local authority road network in England back to its own target condition.”

Among those injured by crashing into a pothole is cyclist Stephen Greenham, who says he was lucky to walk away with minor injuries after coming off his bike.

He says: “I’d fractured my wrist, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time. That crash could’ve gone any number of ways.

“If I’d been thrown towards the trees on my left, if there had been an oncoming car or a car behind me, the injury would’ve been more substantial. I do feel lucky to be alive.”

Mr Morrell has been campaigning for better roads through social media for years, by flagging up potholes left for months without repairs and even issuing legal notices to force councils to take action.

He hopes the programme will open more people’s eyes to the problem and help to convince the government to spend more money on fixing potholes.