Lockdown gives Sheffield council platform to treble pothole repairs
The coronavirus lockdown has resulted in an unexpected boon for drivers and cyclists in Sheffield – smoother roads.
Workers repaired 279 potholes across the city between March 20 and May 10 this year, which is more than three times as many as the 92 which were filled in during the same period last year.
Quieter roads and good weather have proved an ideal combination for Sheffield Council and Amey’s Streets Ahead team, which is responsible for road maintenance, to fix more of the holes.
Peter Bamfield, business director at Streets Ahead, said: “The health and safety of those working to deliver highway maintenance services and that of the public remains a priority for Streets Ahead.
“In recent weeks, our focus has been on maintaining an essential service and safe road network for those continuing to make essential journeys. A recent letter from the Department for Transport confirmed that highway maintenance work should continue where it remains safe to do so.
“Whilst we have not been asked to repair more potholes during this time, a significant reduction in traffic has provided us with greater access, resulting in three times as many potholes being completed compared to the same period last year.”
The Department for Transport had written to councils encouraging them to explore any opportunities the lockdown presented to ‘accelerate’ roadworks while there was less traffic.
A council spokeswoman said that quieter roads as people stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were not the only factor behind more potholes being repaired, with the unseasonably good weather also playing a part.