Rubber ducks swim in Steeple Aston village potholes

Ducks in potholes Image copyright Helen Wright
Image caption The rubber ducks went for a paddle outside the Old White Lion pub on a rainy Wednesday

Fed-up villagers have staged an unusual protest against potholes - by filling them with rubber ducks.

Ruffled residents in Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire, placed an army of the bath time toys in rain-filled road fractures to highlight the issue.

They have accused officials of "ducking the issue", and claim the holes pose an injury risk.

Oxfordshire County Council denied they were a safety problem but acknowledged the road was "particularly poor".

'A little swim'

Parish councillor Martin Lipson donated more than 100 ducks, which had previously been used in a charity event.

In colourful scenes on Wednesday, the banana-coloured bunch was put on display outside the Old White Lion pub, on South Side.

Fellow councillor Helen Wright said: "We all met and we had bags and bags of bright yellow rubber ducks and luckily it was raining so the potholes were filling up perfectly for these ducks to have a little swim.

"Neighbours came out to see what was going on... cars were slowing down and asking us what was going on, cheering, and giving us the thumbs up.

"It seems to have really struck a chord with people because everyone is getting fed up."

Image copyright Helen Wright
Image caption More than 100 ducks were used to ruffle the council's feathers

The county council's website says any pothole the "depth of a coke can or the size of a dinner plate on a quiet carriageway" may need urgent attention.

But Steeple Aston locals claim they have been ignored for some time.

John Adriaanse, 73, said a milk run to the local shop ended in a fall when he "misjudged the depth of a pothole".

"My foot hit the puddle and I sprawled and fell quite heavily on my thigh," he said.

"I would have broken my femur if I was fairly unfit. I had a bruise on my leg for three or four days.

"[The ducks] made people laugh but they also realised the seriousness of the problem."

Oxfordshire County Council said: "While the issues raised don't represent a safety problem we do recognise that the road there is in a particularly poor state.

"When we have determined the most appropriate method of repair we will be in touch with the parish council to let them know what we will do and when."

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