HUNDREDS of residents from two Devon villages want urgent repairs to roads they claim are in a “disgraceful” state after being overlooked in a new list of priority works by the county council.

The calls from people in Copplestone and Cheriton Fitzpaine come as £6.6 million in extra funding given to Devon County Council by central government for road repairs is being allocated.

This money is part of funding distributed to local authorities from the scrapped HS2 rail line extension to Manchester. The same amount will be given next year, and then at least £208 million in the next 10 years.

The council, which oversees 8,000 miles of highway – the most of any local authority in the country – published a list of more than 65 road repair schemes that the money would be used for, but Copplestone and Cheriton Fitzpaine are not included.

The A377 between Exeter and Barnstaple and the A3072 from Copplestone to Okehampton were highlighted as severely problematic at a full council meeting last week by Councillor Frank Letch (Lib Dem, Crediton), who warned that the severity of the potholes was leading to dangerous driving conditions.

“Parts of that road are in a disgraceful state and you could quite possibly think that you were driving in a third-world country,” he said.

“On the A377, which I travel on regularly, people often drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid the potholes.”

Cllr Letch presented a petition to the meeting, which was signed by more than 100 residents who want the roads repairing urgently.

He said requests for repairs had been lodged with the council, but the petition is “asking for these to be brought forward” given they are A roads with roughly 8,000 to 10,000 daily traffic movements.

Mid Devon District Council’s Polly Colthorpe (Conservative, Way) presented a petition with 281 signatures from residents calling for rapid improvements to  the road between the Half Moon Inn at Cheriton Fitzpaine and Whitecross.

Cllr Colthorpe said Cheriton Fitzpaine residents might have considered not writing a petition, but that two minor roads serving just two or three houses each had recently been resurfaced while the main road through the village remained in disrepair.

“On the main road, around two-thirds is passable but very crowded, and the other third has potholes,” she said.

“We do understand the shortage of money, but we are asking you to look at some of your priorities again, and maybe decide that villages where there are services such as village halls, schools, and social housing, and which don’t have pavements, might ask for a better service in regards to the roads that run through them.”

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “This additional funding that we’ve received for the current financial year is very welcome, but it will not enable us to repair every road across the county.

“Our thanks go to all those Devon MPs who helped to secure this additional funding from government, which is a positive step in the right direction and gives us the means to tackle more high priority schemes than would otherwise have been possible.

“We’ve had to prioritise which schemes to bring forward using this money, but the decisions have been led by which roads have the greatest need and where we can get best value from the funding we’ve been given. We want to progress with work as soon as possible.”

Bradley Gerrard