A grandad has taken a unique approach to protest against the poor state of his local roads by listing a 'pothole' on eBay.
Paul Webb didn't receive any bids but claims that at one point, 500 people were 'watching'. Despite this, he's relieved it didn't sell as the listing was a joke and he was only selling a picture of a pothole. The 71-year-old business owner and disabled blue badge holder is calling for his county council to take action over the bad roads.
He said: "I have my own business and I'm used to thinking outside the box. My wife says no one understands my sense of humour. I was trying to think of new ideas, and it just came into my head – I will sell a pothole on eBay."
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Paul admits the listing was a bit childish but insists the issue is important for Devon locals, especially those like him who are disabled.
He added: "Everybody is suffering. I lost two tyres to potholes on my Range Rover – imagine what it's like for people with normal cars. Nobody seems to give a toss."
Paul was surprised after posting the listing – which was actually for a picture of a pothole.
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He exclaimed: "The number of people and the speed at which the views went up worried me!
"I was concerned I was going to in essence con someone into giving me £10 plus postage for something worthless."
With just eight hours left and about 500 people eyeing the listing, Paul confessed he took it down as he "wouldn't have been able to live with himself if someone bought it."
Paul added: "It lifted the mood a bit in our community, but there's a serious point behind it.
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"They say the roads in Cornwall are blemish free. Some of the roads in Devon though, my god, someone will lose their life to this if things aren't improved. It's the worst condition I've seen them in and I've lived here all my life." People might think I'm miserable, but most of the time I'm not grumpy – I just want it sorted out.
A spokesperson from Devon County Council responded: "Road maintenance investment is a national issue. The backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales has reached £14.02 billion, and in Devon it is over £200 million.
"The Government's additional £9.4 million announced at the Spring Budget to help tackle this has been very welcome.
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"But given that inflation remains high, severe weather events are more frequent and that Devon has 8,000 miles of roads, the largest network in England, this only partially addresses the sheer scale of the challenge we face.
"Nevertheless, our Highways and Traffic Management Service has continued to focus on reviewing and improving current working practices to increase efficiency and reduce disruption, something the National Highway and Transport Network (NHT) recognises.
"Their recent benchmarking data shows us to be an efficient highways authority which strives to squeeze the maximum from our limited resources.
"We are investing £66 million in highways and bridge maintenance in 2023/24, this includes the additional £9.4 million from Government and a further £500,000 from our own efficiency savings."
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