A motorist has become so fed up with the potholes in his area that he’s set up an official tour taking tourists around the biggest craters in his local roads – complete with a picnic lunch.
Steve Bell, 55, is charging locals £80 for the tour of potholes around Bromley, south east London, including one of his personal favourite’s which he has named ‘the Big Dipper’.
The father-of-two came up with the idea after he was constantly having to ‘dodge and weave past potholes’ in his vehicle, which he uses a lot for his family as a full-time carer.
Mr Bell said he will give locals and tourists the inside info on the state of the borough’s roads, even taking a ruler with him to measure their depth.
Steve Bell, 55, is offering to take people on a tour of the potholes in Bromley, south London for £80 plus lunch
The dad-of-two came up with the ingenious idea of setting up ‘Bromley Potholes Guided Tours’ to give locals and tourists the inside info on the state of the borough’s roads
It comes as Bromley Council admitted it is struggling to keep up with the number of repairs needed, with 70 a day currently being filled in.
The tour will showcase the piece de resistance of Bromley’s potholes – an enormous crater on an unmade road that is so large it can fit three cars in and is permanently filled with water.
Other holes include his personal favourite, dubbed the Big Dipper, which lies close to his own home.
An increasing number of huge craters having been popping up in Birtain in recent months, with residents coming up with similar nicknames.
One pothole in a village in Lincolnshire, which measures 26ft wide and 50ft long, has been dubbed ‘the lake’ by villagers who are frustrated over its growing size.
On an official Facebook invite launching his sideline, Bromley Potholes Guided Tours, Mr Bell said: ‘You’re invited to spend a day with me as we drive and explore Bromley’s wonderful array of potholes.
‘Be ready to gasp and curse as we ride some of the caverns, crashing our way across town.
‘Hold tight as we discover the ‘Big Dipper’ somewhere on the Westmoreland Road.
‘By the end of the tour you’re guaranteed to ponder in bemusement and exclaim ‘just where does our Council Tax go?
‘If your suspension and wheel rims survive with no damage then you’ll receive a unique certificate to commemorate the occasion.’
He added a picture of the ‘Big Dipper’ near his home, captioning it ‘Below – the majestic ‘Big Dipper ‘ as seen at sunset.’
‘It’s really dangerous and there’s more risk of an accident.
‘I’ve seen people slowing right down for these potholes and their cars are disappearing into them.
‘It’s bad so I thought I’d set up an official tour.’
An official Facebook post launching the guided tour business, showcasing his personal favourite pothole, dubbed the Big Dipper, which lies close to his own home
Mr Bell even takes a ruler with him to measure the potholes’ depth
The dad-of-two with a seven inch pothole on Westmoreland Road
Mr Bell with a huge crater on Downs Bridge Road
Mr Bell, who is a full time carer, said he uses his vehicle a lot for his family and is ‘constantly having to dodge and weave past potholes’
One resident recently broke their ankle after skidding on pebbles thrown up by one of Bromley’s potholes.
Elsewhere, a residential street in Dorset is thought to be Britain’s worst road for potholes as it features 21 road craters in a single 220-yard stretch.
Councillor Alison Stammers said that Bromley was ‘beset’ with numerous potholes, adding: ‘I understand such debris recently contributed to a resident breaking an ankle some two weeks after the debris was reported.’
She asked Conservative Councillor Nicholas Bennett, portfolio holder for transport, what the council would do to fill potholes and clear debris in the borough more routinely.
In his response, Mr Bennett apologised for the state of roads in the borough and said severe weather in winter had led to the issue, with the council’s contractor working as hard as possible on a backlog of repairs.
He added: ‘We have 13 teams dedicated to repairing potholes and some 70 or more are being dealt with every day and these are being tackled in a systematic way with the most serious potholes being dealt with first.
‘I have agreed that the teams should continue throughout the summer months.’
People found Steve’s tour idea hilarious.
One said: ‘I feel like I know the potholes so well now’, while another added: ‘I call potholes concrete meadows of the soul.’
Another queried: ‘How much is the tour? Better to know them in advance then guess while driving.’
One person asked if the council had ‘invested in Kwik Fit?’ and added: ‘It would make sense!’.
Mr Hill measuring a pothole on Highland Road
Mr Hill with a fixed pothole on Station Road
Mr Hill with potholes on Westmoreland Road which are due to be repaired by Bromley Council
The council admitted it is struggling to keep up with the number of repairs needed, with 70 a day currently being filled in
Mr Hill with numerous potholes on Beckenham Lane
Another said: ‘Can I get the certificate for the Highland Road one? I went over it a couple of weeks back at night.
‘It was shallower than the crater that is there now but my heart still skipped a beat. I think they are trying to make a shortcut to Australia at this point.’
One user added: ‘It’s a nightmare! I feel like the ground is going to open up and swallow us!’
Another person said: ‘There’s an assault course half way up the hill on Westmoreland Rd. Do you dodge left? Dodge right and just wiggle the steering wheel and hope for the best!’
Another added: ‘I think the strategy is if you leave them long enough the road won’t need resurfacing as it will just be one giant pothole’ to which another replied: ‘Seems like is heading that way, is like the council is waiting for the potholes to join together.’