North Somerset Council is filling one pothole every 20 minutes
One pothole is being filled every 20 minutes on roads across North Somerset, new figures have revealed.
North Somerset Council – which is responsible for 1100 kilometres of roads across the district – said in March alone an estimated 500 potholes were repaired.
On average, about 95 per cent of potholes are fixed within 28 days of being reported.The figures come at the same time as a Government study judged the condition of roads across the district as amongst the best in the country.
The annual road condition survey – carried out by the Department of Transport – collects information about roads across England, looking at what percentage of the road network in each area should be considered for maintenance.
The higher the percentage, the higher the number of roads that are in poor condition and may need repair.
North Somerset was judged as within the top 10 per cent of local authorities in England for the condition of its roads.
A council spokesman said: “Improving and maintaining roads across North Somerset remains a priority despite budget pressures.
“The results from the national survey show that this work is paying off.”
In 2017 just one per cent of North Somerset’s ‘A’ roads were found to be in a condition where maintenance should be considered.
For ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads this figure was four per cent – well below the national average of six per cent and the eight per cent average for the south west.
And for unclassified, or ‘U’ roads the figure was three per cent, with only three other authorities in England recording better results than North Somerset Council.
In 2015, the council pledged to invest £40m in road maintenance and improvement schemes over a five year period.
North Somerset Council is responsible for 1100km of road across the district. The authority has also been using an innovative technique where old road surfaces are recycled and turned into new ones – a process called Retread.
As part of the repairs, the current road surface is broken down and then graded before being mixed with bitumen and re-laid.
The new road surface is then compacted and chippings are rolled in.
The technique is more environmentally friendly than other repair techniques in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions and uses less raw materials as it recycles what is already there.
It also reduces the amount of time needed on site – meaning that road closures are kept to a minimum – and leads to financial savings as we don’t have to pay disposal costs for waste materials, ultimately benefiting council taxpayers.
The authority has also introduced the use of ‘smart gangs’ to carry out urgent repairs to potholes.
Potholes are sharp edged holes which area usually caused by water, weather damage or heavy vehicles – but not all road surface faults are classed as potholes.
A defect is classed as a pothole if it is more than 4cm deep and 30 cms across in the road or more than 2cm deep and 15 cm across in the pavement.
It is classed as dangerous if it exceeds these dimensions and is in a location where it is likely to cause a vehicle to lose control.
The council spokesman added: “Not all defects or holes meet national guidelines for repair.
“Where this is the case, they will be monitored by officers so a repair can be carried out at an appropriate time.”