A farm foreman has branded the highways handling of a broken manhole cover "ridiculous" following concerns for public safety.

Richard Banham, of Wymondham, claims he had to "go round the houses" when reporting the issue to Norfolk County County’s highways department. 

And when he was finally able to speak to someone over the phone, he was asked what type of manhole it was – his reply to which was "a broken one!". 

Eastern Daily Press: The broken manhole cover in Wymondham has caused a three-inch gap

The 62-year-old, from the Silfield area, first reported the damaged manhole cover, situated on the junction of Station Road and the B1172 traffic lights, on the morning of Friday, April 28. 

He was told by Norfolk police that he had to report the issue to the council’s highways department

"It took them 20 minutes to ask all of the questions they wanted to know the answer to," he said. 

"I know they have their process to follow but there was no hurry to get a potential accident avoided.

"I was even asked what sort of manhole it was – to which I answered, a broken one!" 

READ MORE: Giant four-metre-deep sinkhole opens up in Norwich park

Mr Banham finished reporting the incident by around 10.30am.

Eight hours later, he witnessed two police officers attend with a blue-lighted car and placed traffic cones around it.

Eastern Daily Press: Richard Banham lives and works near the town

He added: "Someone should be held accountable. Why, why, why hadn't someone from highways investigated it and made good yet? 

"I could have taken measurements, picked up a new cover, and replaced the broken one in less than two hours myself. 

"The cover has become so worn that it is completely smooth on top and so thin it has broken. 

"There is no excuse when it comes to people’s safety." 

Mr Banham said he was especially concerned for children and cyclists as the three-inch gap could potentially cause "a very serious accident". 

Norfolk police and Norfolk County Council highways department have been approached for comment.