Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 17:00 UK

Kent man told to remove makeshift pothole warning sign

Makeshift sign
Kent Police said the sign could have been a "distraction"

A Kent plumber has criticised police for asking him to take down a home-made sign warning motorists about potholes near his home.

Ted Relf, 59, erected the makeshift sign outside his home in Shadoxhurst, near Ashford.

But he was told to take it down by a police community support officer (PCSO) who said a complaint had been made.

Kent Police said the sign could have been a distraction for motorists because it hung over the pavement.

Mr Relf said he erected the sign because he was frustrated by the sub-standard work by his local highways authority.

He said: "I was a bit annoyed because police time and resources were being used to investigate a trivial matter.

"The police told me it was a distraction but I pointed to the potholes and said that they were too.

We don't want anyone else dying as a result of potholes
Carole Relf

"Making people aware of the potholes is a serious issue.

"It's just stupid to think that someone would complain about a sign."

His wife, Carole Relf, 55, said she was alarmed to read about soldier Capt Jonathan Allen, who was killed when he was hit by a lorry as he cycled near his base in Wiltshire.

It is believed the 29-year-old was struck as he swerved to avoid a pothole while riding home to Burbage from his barracks.

Mrs Relf said: "We don't want anyone else dying as a result of potholes. It is a serious problem around here."

Mr Relf has vowed to put the sign up again if the potholes are not repaired within two weeks.

Mr Relf said he was alarmed by the potholes in his road

A Kent Police spokesman said: "There was a complaint from a local who doesn't want to be identified.

"The PCSO went to speak with Mr Relf and he agreed to take the sign down. We didn't go in heavy-handed."

Kent County Council said it has repaired 45,600 potholes county-wide on 1,595 roads since the beginning of the year.

A spokesman said potholes were a "huge problem" but the authority had earmarked at least £1m to help fix them.

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