Campaigners have started ‘pothole fishing’ in a protest against the “plague” of craters blighting a town centre’s roads.

Fix Our Potholes Malmesbury is  a group set up by local teenager Ben Thornbury to raise awareness of the condition of some of the town’s key roads.

Last year Ben hit the headlines when he turned some of the area’s worst potholes into a crazy golf course to try and pressure the council into action.

Now he has launched a similar stunt aimed at the council by going ‘fishing’ in some of the town’s “disgraceful” potholes while wearing a mask of local MP James Gray.

Ben said: “I can only describe the roads in the town at the moment as being a plague of potholes everywhere.

“The worst areas are Park Road, Athelstan Road area and Abbey Row.

“Residents are continuing to report all these potholes, but they are not getting filled.

“Something needs to be done by the council.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Campaigners go pothole fishing in MalmesburyCampaigners go pothole fishing in Malmesbury (Image: Fix Our Pothole Malmesbury)

Facebook users labelled the protest a “triumph” and labelled roads in the town a “disgrace.”

The council says Abbey Road is one of the routes around the county due for imminent repair.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport, said: “We appreciate the concern around the number of potholes in Wiltshire and we are repairing roads as quickly as we can.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen an increase in potholes across the country due to factors such as recent extreme temperature variations.

“We encourage people to report any road defects to us using the MyWilts app so that we can programme works on a priority basis, as per our Highways Inspection Manual.”

The council says it has received an extra £3.6 million from the government for pothole repairs in 2024/25, alongside £5.2 million over the next two years from the Department for Transport.

£20.7m is also received each year from the Government’s Highways Maintenance fund.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Last year's crazy pothole golf courseLast year's crazy pothole golf course (Image: SWNS)

Cllr Thomas says the council will be allocating an extra £10 million over the next two years for a resurfacing programme to prevent highway defects and fund local repairs to verges. 

She added: "Our robust financial position means we can invest much more than the government funding allows into the things we know are really important to people - filling potholes, resurfacing roads and emptying gullies to help prevent road flooding.

“The changes won’t happen overnight but, over the coming months, people in all areas of the county will see more resurfacing work, and more potholes filled as this multi-million pound investment is implemented.”