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Pothole ‘crisis’ prompts Cambridgeshire County Council response

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Seven hundred pothole ‘defects’ across Cambridgeshire were fixed in just three days last week, says an emergency statement issued by the county council in the face of mounting anger.

“And we fixed more than 45,000 last year,” said a council spokesperson.

Damage to tyre caused by Cambridgeshire pothole: Photo supplied by reader

“Last week our dragon patchers repaired 700 defects in three days,” said the spokesperson.

“In general terms, if a pothole is large and deep, we will fix it within five days. If it is smaller and less of a hazard, we will fix it within 21 days.”

The council says its marks up the potholes in different ways.

“Those repaired in five days are not marked as our repair is immediate, yellow means we will repair it in 21 days,” said the spokesperson.

“We always aim to fix potholes within five and 21 days

“We aim to fix emergency faults as soon as possible, always within five days.”

The spokesperson said the council always aim to repair potholes with a permanent fix first time, however, in the winter this can be difficult due to the weather and numbers of potholes.

“At this time of year, we sometimes have to make temporary fixes to keep people to keep up with the numbers and because road conditions are too wet for permanent repairs.

“Permanent fixes will then be programmed in and delivered when the weather allows.”

“The total amount of money we have specifically to fix potholes is £2.2m – this is part of a larger highway maintenance budget (which includes planned maintenance, patching, drain clearing etc) which is around £30million per year for maintenance of 4,500km of road.”

And the spokesperson added: “The average cost of fixing a pothole is £42.”

Cllr Alex Beckett and Cllr Neil Shailer, chair and vice-chair of Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “In the winter a lot more road defects and potholes form, this is being seen across the country.

“This is due to wet and freezing weather causing those worn areas of road and pavement surfaces to break up.

“We know how important our roads are which is why we carry out regular inspections of our roads, bridges, cycleways, and footpaths. Defects identified and reported to us are repaired as quickly as possible.

“We have increased the number of gangs dealing with both temporary and permanent fixes and we are using our two dragon patchers.

“Our dedicated highway inspectors are working hard to keep the roads safe, but we can’t be everywhere at all times.

“That is why we encourage the public to report any potholes or highway faults using our online tool. It’s easy to use and flags any faults which have not yet been marked.

“We would rather have multiple reports of the same fault, than none at all – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/highwayfaults

“After the cold spell at the end of last year, it can take time for damage in the road to go on and form into potholes. We’d urge drivers to be vigilant over the next few weeks and report any faults to us.”

Send us your pothole photos: john@cambsnews.co.uk

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