The state of the roads in an area of southern Wiltshire has been labelled “atrocious” by a local councillor.

Richard Budden, the liberal democrat councillor for Tisbury and the Donheads, is calling for urgent action on the roads in his community.

He is joined by the Chairs of Donhead St Andrew and Donhead St Mary Parish Councils, Simon Barkham and John Feltham, who have agreed that the roads are “dangerous” and “neglected.”

Cllr Budden says that after a local Area Board meeting in November 2023, he sent Cllr Caroline Thomas, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for transport, a map detailing 16 of the problematic roads in the Donheads.

He said: “Since then, the impact of winter weather and storm Henk have only made matters worse.

“You cannot drive into or through either of the Donhead communities without coming across stretches where the surface is completely broken down.”

He claims to have not received an adequate response from Cllr Caroline Thomas.

He said: “This is simply unacceptable to the people who live here, with no facilities of their own, who must travel on these broken-down roads every day to get to any and every service: shops, schools, doctors’ surgeries…”

Parish Councillor Simon Barkham added: “These neglected roads are adding an unnecessary stress to the lives of the residents who face a daily battle with broken roads; they are dangerous, cause damage to vehicles and cycles and add to the risk of flooding.”

Parish councillor John Feltham said: “It has got to the stage where they have to choose the least potholed, least dangerous route to make their journey.

“This has come about from years of neglect and it has now reached the stage when major works are needed to make the roads passable and safe again.”

When asked for a response, Cllr Caroline Thomas explained that Wiltshire Council is aware of the concerns around the roads in the area and that it is investing an additional £10m to fund a programme of works to address potholes and increase resurfacing in all areas in the county, including on lower priority roads.

She said: “While other councils around the country are cutting budgets, we are investing millions into the everyday highways improvements that really matter to people, such as filling potholes, resurfacing roads and emptying gullies to prevent flooding.

“This is on top of the tens of millions we already spend on these highway issues using grant funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) for road maintenance and resurfacing programmes.

“These grants include £3.7m additional pothole funding received from government this financial year with confirmation of an extra £5.228m to come for 2024/25 to 2025/26.

“However, as the DfT funding does not enable us to address all resurfacing needs, we prioritise the A and B class road network, which carries most of the traffic across the county.

“Wiltshire has a vast road network of over 2,800 miles and our additional £10m investment will enable us to tackle more repairs on C and U/C class roads.

“To understand which roads are a priority, we are actively engaging with local communities and town and parish councils through Highways Matters community events and our local highway and footway improvement groups.

“We will shortly be re-inspecting roads in the Donheads area to understand the extent of the work required so that they can be considered in our programme of works.

“We confirmed this course of action at our ‘Highways Matters’ South West Area Board event in November 2023 when these roads were highlighted as a priority by local residents for the additional funding we’re providing.”