RESIDENTS including a 101-year-old claim Somerset Council council told them to fill the potholes on their road themselves.

Elderly locals in Watchet say they live on ''the most potholed road in England''.

They say their road has 21 potholes - but believe their concerns have been dismissed by council highway staff for two years.

They claim they were informed by the council it is the fault of their cars - because they have five cars in total.

The say more than six people have fallen over as a result of the potholes - described by a neighbour as 'bomb craters' - with two being hospitalised.

One resident, Brian Pankhurst, 79, says they have even been told to fill the holes themselves.

Somerset Council say the lane is a public right of way - ''therefore the responsibility for the upkeep of this lane is complex''.

Living on the street is one Somerset’s oldest residents, 101-year-old Sheila Nicholls, who lives with her husband Bill.

Brian said: "They said we could do the work ourselves and fix them - absurd.

"We are all elderly residents and don't have that kind of money.

"How can you tell a 101-year-old to fill their own potholes?"

Sheila described the situation as "awful" and "very unsafe" for residents, walkers and cyclists alike.

Their road leads on to the former West Somerset Mineral Line, which is an 11-mile long route of a Victorian-era railway.

It is now a popular walk and cycle route which connects the town to Washford village.

Brian added: "It has been going on for two years and it is getting worse and worse.

"They have tried to blame it on cars - but people have barely got cars round here as we are all retired, it is absurd. Everyone is getting fed up with it."

He explains all the residents affected by the potholes have a total of six cars, so it cannot be their fault.

Brian said: "The council are not taking into account huge lorries that come down here, as there are always problems with water pipes, great big council dust and waste lorries, supermarket vans, white vans."Somerset County Gazette: Residents on the road believe it is one of the worst in the country.Residents on the road believe it is one of the worst in the country. (Image: SWNS)

Brian explains how the first 100 yards of the entrance to the mineral line is 'terrible' and littered with potholes.

A petition was signed by all the residents, who live in the 10 properties affected by the potholes in 2022 to inform the council to take up the road and resurface it, rather than attempting to fill the potholes individually.

Though Brian explains how the highways staff responded saying the responsibility "was nothing to do with them".

He said: "Since an email in October from the council saying they would come and take a look we haven't heard anything, they think if they ignore us they can get away with it!"

"The council are trying to say it is our responsibility, but if it's our responsibility why was it tarmacked in the first place?

"It is not a private road, it is a footpath - and that is public. Why should we be responsible for maintaining it? That is absolutely appalling".

A spokesperson from Somerset Council said: "We are looking into ownership of the land and who has responsibility for its repair.

''Whilst there are some potholes, the lane carries a public footpath which is still accessible for walkers.

“This lane is a public right of way, not a public road, which is used by residents to access their properties, therefore the responsibility for the upkeep of this lane is complex and there will need to shared approach to maintenance going forward.

''We do understand people’s concerns and we are going to work with residents to try to come to a workable solution.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Beavis - SWNS.