Residents in an Oxfordshire village have protested against the condition of their local roads by filling in potholes with rubber ducks.

People from Steeple Aston put the rubber ducks in the potholes when they became small pools after heavy rainfall last week.

While Oxfordshire County Council has denied the holes are a serious threat to motorists’ wellbeing, residents are thinking very differently.

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

Fellow councillor Helen Wright told the BBC: “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.”

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”.

He told the BBC: “My foot hit the puddle and I sprawled and fell quite heavily on my thigh.”

“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 in a statement: “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.”

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

May 22, 2017