Huge potholes in Epsom High Street will not be filled-in until next year at the earliest it has emerged, despite a pledge by the county council to spend £100million repairing key roads.

An inspection of the road surface in the town centre carried out by this newspaper in early March identified 22 potholes, including one that was 24 foot long.

A section of the road, the A24, has since been resurfaced but a Surrey County Council (SCC) spokeswoman said this week that there are no plans to resurface or repair the rest of the street until at least the next financial year, and it may not be done until 2015 by which time two winters will have opened up many more holes.

This is despite the launch of Project Horizon, a £100million investment by SCC to replace 300 miles of the county’s worst roads over the next five years.

The spokeswoman said: "The remainder of the high street is provisionally scheduled to be resurfaced in year two of our five-year maintenance programme, Project Horizon.

"We have deliberately left it until next year to allow for the redevelopment of Train Street and further work to be completed by other bodies before we can finish our scheme."

When asked where exactly "Train Street" was, as there is no such road in Epsom, SCC failed to respond, although it is thought it may refer to the re-development of Epsom station and the changes to be made to Station Approach.

SCC said that Project Horizon will see 10 per cent of the county’s worst roads being rebuilt from scratch, with a 10-year warranty that if there is then a problem with the road, the cost of repairing it will fall to the contractor which built the road, not to the council.  This will be on top of the normal pothole maintenance work carried out by SCC.

But the full list of roads to be replaced through Project Horizon will not be announced until June, which is when the council claims the project "will mainly kick off". 

This means residents will have to wait months to see if their damaged roads are on the list and then may have to wait five years before they are resurfaced.

Dan Cook, from Stoneleigh, was forced to pay £300 to get his car's suspension fixed after hitting a pothole in Cuddington Avenue, Stoneleigh, a month ago.

Although the pothole, and others, have been repaired, he said he does not believe it is a priority for SCC "otherwise they would repair the roads a lot quicker".

The 38-year-old said: "If Project Horizon was widely communicated and people knew what it meant then they would have something to say about it, especially if it shows their roads aren’t going to be fixed until five years’ time.

"Council tax is going up and what are we getting for it?  More broken roads."

In March, SCC approved plans to increase pothole inspections by 200 per cent - a rise in inspections from four times a year to once a month, and last month it accounced that it was also trialling an American app which helps identify potholes.

But Epsom town councillor Neil Dallen, who is standing for election as a Surrey County Councillor for Epsom Town and Downs in today’s election, said more must be done urgently and he has found potholes to be residents' "top priority" during his campaign.

He said: "We have a huge problem in Epsom with potholes, not just in the main roads, but many minor roads too and SCC has been remiss about the problem.

"There is now a four to five-year backlog of roads to fix and if people make compensation claims for accidents and damage caused by potholes, we will lose more and more money to deal with them.

"The backlog has been caused by poor management, poor decision-making and a lack of funding.

"If SCC has £100million to spend over five years, why can't we spend the money earlier and get it done before then?"

Coun Dallen said potholes in Epsom town centre give the "wrong image" of the historic market town, the economic vitality of which Epsom Council is aiming to boost.

MP Chris Grayling said he will put "real effort" into sorting the issue for Epsom. 

He said: "There’s more money in the county kitty for road repairs but our county councillors never seem to put Epsom at the top of the priority list. 

"I’ll put real effort into sorting this, but Epsom and Ewell really need a stronger voice in the county leadership."

An e-petition asking for the issue of Surrey’s potholes to be debated in Parliament, started by frustrated Dorking resident Mark Eshelby, currently has 700 signatures.  100,000 are required to trigger a debate by MP.

Sign the petition at

Have you got a pothole nightmare near you? Email Hardeep Matharu on the newsdesk at