POTHOLES in Witney have a new nemesis after a former roads engineer brought his one-man campaign to the town.

Mark Morrell, aka Mr Pothole, has built up a national reputation for tackling potholes across the nation, with his work even featuring on a Channel 5 television documentary.

It comes after reports Oxfordshire County Council paid out about £100,000 in two years to people whose cars were damaged by potholes.

The retired roads engineer has now turned his attention to Witney and has offered Prime Minister and local MP David Cameron the chance to meet him to investigate potholes and other road defects in the town.

Mr Morrell was invited to Witney by local campaigners who are pushing for the town’s roads to be improved and found exposed drain covers, road defects and dropped drains which he said could pose a danger to cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Mr Morrell, who used to manage major road repair projects in London before he retired 10 years ago, said: “If there’s a problem in Witney and David Cameron is the local MP and they can’t get it sorted, what chance is there elsewhere?

“If you’ve got exposed iron work like drains and a cyclist hits it because it’s a busy road then they could be killed.”

Mr Morrell has carried out detailed studies of potholes in other towns including Banbury, using a giant ruler to measure the depth of potholes.

Oxfordshire County Council has said that if the craters are deeper than 40mm or wider than 150mm then they they could need “urgent attention”.

Angela Holder, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said she found it difficult to get her wheelchair around town because of uneven roads and pavements.

The 57-year-old said: “There are so many holes it’s unbelievable. It’s disgusting quite honestly, something must be done about it. It’s not fair on wheelchair users.”

Robert Webb, 77, who often pushes his 11-year-old wheelchair-bound grandson Luke Webb around town, said the roads needed to be completely resurfaced, rather than just fixing small areas which he said soon crack up.

But Oxfordshire County Council said it was facing an increasing squeeze on the government budget for repairing the roads and had put aside £2.5m to fix potholes, while trying to make it go as far as possible.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “We treat potholes within Witney in exactly the same way we do the rest of the county. The condition of roads within Witney are typical of roads within other towns within the county.”

In January the Oxford Mail reported in January that almost £68,000 was paid out in compensation in 2013/14.

“We are typical of most authorities and managing a road network without as much funding as we would like. The council is however actively working with government and other authorities to develop more effective ways of working and funding highway maintenance to ensure that available budgets are able to be spent as effectively as possible.”

Spokeswoman for David Cameron, Rose Rawlins said Mr Morrell was not a constituent and therefore, because of parliamentary rules, Mr Cameron could not take up his concerns.

She added: “However, David understands that potholes and the safety of roads is an important issue in West Oxfordshire and when he receives any notification from his constituents regarding concerns about potholes, David immediately raises these with Oxfordshire County Council.”