Potholes can reach up to 9 feet across (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Angry residents fear ambulances will struggle to reach them in an emergency – because they are living on ‘the worst road in Britain’.
Bel Air Chalet Estate in Essex is blighted by hundreds of potholes – some as big as ‘craters’.
The road defects are making daily life a misery, locals say.
Taxi and takeaway drivers refuse to come to their doors through fear of ruining their vehicles, they claim.
And emergency services also struggle for access, it is claimed – leaving people feeling at risk.
Warehouse worker Aaron Dwyer has lived on the estate in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, for three years.
The 44-year-old said: ‘I do honestly believe it is the worst road in Britain. They are more like craters than potholes.
‘It’s such a disgrace that emergency vehicles can’t get down here and makes us all feel unsafe.
People say life in the Bel Air estate to being ‘imprisoned’ (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Locals have demanded the council and company that owns the site pitch in and fix the crater-like road (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
‘And it’s getting worse and worse and worse all the time.’
Andy says Seawick Road is the worst area – and estimates there is more than a hundred potholes just on that 150m stretch.
It means driving down the road feels like a ‘fairground ride.’
He added: ‘As soon as my front left wheel goes into one hole my back right wheel is still in another, and it goes on like that all the way.
‘You can’t go faster than walking speed or you’ll hurt your head on the roof of your car because you’re bouncing around so much.
Bel Air Chalet Estate in Essex is blighted by hundreds of potholes (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Taxi and takeaway drivers refuse to come to residents’ doors through fear of ruining their vehicles (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
‘It’s an absolute joke. It just makes life a misery.’
Vehicles are regularly damaged by smashing over the bumpy concrete surfaces, it is claimed.
And residents who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters can’t leave their homes – so are reliant on neighbours to fetch their shopping.
Aaron added: ‘It’s a good job we’re a very close-knit community who care for and support each other.’
Is this the worst road in Britain? (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Locals also fear poor access for ambulances or emergency services (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Homeowners and renters often contact Tendring District Council, Essex County Council and the company managing the site.
They say the property firm sometimes arranges for the holes to be filled with rubble – but it washes away again as soon as it rains.
The site features hundreds chalets which were originally meant to be holiday homes.
Residents accept they weren’t intended for use over the whole winter – but estimate over 80% of people now live there full-time.
The site also has a shop, laundrette and a pub.
Aaron Deyer,44 with tape measure by large pothole on Seawick Road (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
Paul Lucas, 65, bought the boozer – The Village Inn – with his wife Geraldine, also 65, in 2017.
He claims customers from three neighbouring caravan sites can no longer get to the pub so trade has dropped by 40%.
Paul said: ‘This causes me a lot of stress and it’s so sad for the community. We’ve got loyal customers but they only have so much money.
‘The property company took over the estate and have never contacted me – and I just get the answerphone when I try calling them.’
Meanwhile Francis Read, 53, is not working as a binman at the moment due to illness.
He compared living on the estate to being ‘imprisoned’.
Many of the local residents in St Osyth Essex have damaged their cars on the pothole strewn road (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)
He added: ‘I avoid walking because it’s so difficult and I’m frightened I’ll break my leg or even my neck.
‘I end up just sitting in doors unless someone comes and helps me and that’s gutting. We all need to get out and about.’
Councillor Jeff Bray, the cabinet member for planning at Tendring District Council, said: ‘We are aware of residents’ concerns on the Bel Air estate and have been working with them to see where we can assist; such as by making requests to the site operators to make improvements for them.
‘Whilst we will of course continue to assist where we can, many of the issues faced by residents are not within the district council’s control.’
A spokesperson for Essex Highways, part of Essex County Council, said: ‘The Bel Air Chalet Estate in St Osyth is made up of private roads and all rights and responsibilities for the maintenance and management of these roads are private.’
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Is this the worst road in Britain?