A green-fingered politician has taken to planting flowers in a number potholes scarring a main road in her constituency.

Michelle Haywood, MHK for Rushen, fulfilled the promise she made to Tynwald last month in a bid to highlight the deepest and widest gulfs currently littering Port St Mary’s High Street.

With help from local residents, Dr Haywood spent Saturday on a pothole planting spree, filling-in the road gaps using a bit of soil and some brightly coloured daffodils.

She said she plans to continue drawing attention to the ‘disastrous state of this road’.

There has been a rise in instances across the UK of individuals and groups using creative tactics, such as planting flowers in potholes, to draw attention to road maintenance issues.

Although now mostly residential, Port St Mary’s High Street is extensively patched, badly potholed and failing in a number of places. The road is also used as a through route for traffic and buses from the harbour.

A £400,000 scheme to revamp the road was rejected last year – by the same department that proposed it.

The highway services division of the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) put together a business case for the reconstruction of High Street in July 2021.

But last year Port St Mary Commissioners submitted a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out why the project had not been brought forward.

In its response, the DoI said the business case was not supported by the department and so not submitted to the Treasury for consideration.

Commissioners were subsequently informed, however, that it had been given the go-ahead by the department and submitted for Treasury approval.

Pot holes in Port St Mary have been filled in with soils and daffodils
Pot holes in Port St Mary have been filled in with soils and daffodils (Media Isle of Man )

The proposed facelift for the high street is one of 14 Department of Infrastructure schemes listed in the Pink Book that it says are expected to be presented for consideration within the revised design and feasibility process. Following Dr Haywood’s floral protest she shared a statement on social media, saying that while she’s aware the daffodils won’t last long, she’ll be back planting more flowers at the site if the situation doesn’t improve in the future.

The post said: ‘In Tynwald last month I promised that I would highlight the biggest potholes in Port St Mary High Street by planting daffodils.

‘With the assistance of a couple of residents I have done just that.

‘Thank you to the bus drivers and car drivers that drove carefully past them.

‘I know they won’t last….but if the pot holes are still there in the summer I will be planting geraniums.

‘I will keep on drawing attention to the disastrous state of this road until DoI actually sorts out fixing it.

‘I hope not to have to consider planting mini Xmas trees or winter pansies….’

Pot hole patching appears to be underway on Port St Mary High Street
Pot hole patching appears to be underway on Port St Mary High Street (Dr. Michelle Haywood MHK)

Dr Haywood’s online post gained a significant amount of traction with many residents heaping praise on her for raising the issue in such a unique and colorful way.

One person added a photo on to the post’s thread of their uncle jokingly mock ‘fishing’ in the same pot-holes four years ago, while another warned the Rushen MHK that she was going to need a lot of daffodils to fill in every cleft.

And her slightly unusual methods seem to have worked as just days later, Dr Haywood later shared a photo of what appeared to be workmen on the high street along with the caption ‘pot hole patching underway on Port St Mary’.

She said: ‘This is a temporary solution to some of the very worst holes, and doesn’t take away from the need to get the road replacement scheme approved and funded, but it might delay me buying geraniums for the summer planting.

‘I’ve had productive discussions with the DoI Minister and I want to thank him for working to get a long term solution in play.’