ROADS across Oxford peppered with potholes and cracks could be repaired with money contributed by companies and individuals.

Hard-up Oxford City Council last night said it would welcome extra cash contributions in an idea dubbed “sponsor-a-pothole”, claiming it barely received enough money to repair the city’s most damaged roads.

The city’s roads are graded in order of priority and cost tens of thousands of pounds to repair, but only the most urgent are ever seen to, meaning scores of potholes never get repaired.

The idea of repairing roads with the help of the public came from a man who described the state of the road outside his Marston house as like “the surface of the moon”.

Anthony Baker, of Raymund Road, has appealed for people and businesses to come forward to help the council, which is responsible for repairing the city’s side roads.

He said signs could be put up at the roadside to recognise those who had contributed towards the repairs.

The council said that if there was enough interest, the idea would have to be given serious thought.

Mr Baker said his plan had atracted interest from a number of businesses and, last night the idea had its first backer, in the shape of Tyreryte, a tyre dealer in Cowley.

Tyreryte director Martin Smith, who lives in Old Marston Road, said he would be willing to stump up some money to fix the city’s roads.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea, although it would probably put me out of business if the roads did finally get fixed.”

Mr Baker said: “The surface on my road is like the surface of the moon.

“There are that many potholes in it, it’d probably be easier to just take off the top layer of concrete.

“It’s not just Raymund Road, it’s Arlington Drive and Haynes Road. I have counted about 60 potholes in all. We’ve been asking the council for years to do something about the road, but they claim they don’t have the money. Well that’s fine.

“If everyone sponsors a pothole we can get them filled in.”

A similar scheme ran in the US, where fast food giant KFC sponsored pothole repairs in five cities.

The responsibility for road upkeep is shared between the city and county councils.

Colin Cook, the executive member for city development, said: “If people are willing to put their money forward, it’s something we have got to take seriously and are happy to work with them, as long as any contribution from the council is within our own financial constraints.

“We will certainly look at anything like that favourably, but there’s no point throwing stuff down that will need more done to it in the long term.

“We will do our best to work with people to try to achieve the results they want.”

Mr Cook said the council had a list of roads which needed work and graded them in order of priority, with one being the most urgent and those graded at five the lowest.

Raymund Road, which the council has estimated would cost £46,000 to repair properly, has been graded at two. Arlington Drive and Haynes Road are also ranked as two. The estimated cost of repairing both is more than £46,500.

But Mr Baker added: “It doesn’t take £46,000 to fill in a few potholes.

“There are parts of the road I can literally lift up with my hand.

“It won’t be long before somebody sues the council for negligence.”

Brian Fell, the assistant head of transport at Oxfordshire County Council, said the authority would want to see more detail before commenting on Mr Baker’s proposal. l Do you live in a street with a worse pothole problem? Call our Transport Reporter Chris Walker on 01865 425425 or email him at