VIDEO | £5m council cash to repair 13,000 potholes on Staffordshire’s roads
An extra £5 million of taxpayers’ money is being invested to repair 13,000 potholes on Staffordshire’s crumbling roads.
The cash will be used to target the backlog of ‘low-risk’ potholes and roads with a number of defects.
Staffordshire County Council has revealed the funding package after potholes were one of the hottest topics on the doorstep during last month’s county council elections.
The cash will be spent on:
- Recruiting an extra 12 patching crews to help repair the roads;
- Four new 18-tonne patching machines which will tackle the pothole repair backlog, carry out routine maintenance and do surface dressing;
- An on-site tarmac manufacturing machine which will prepare hot tarmac.
The Sentinel revealed in April how the council has paid out more than £440,000 in damages to 1,322 motorists after they hit potholes on the authority’s roads in the past five years. The problem appears to be getting worse, with 338 successful claims in 2016 – up from just 114 in 2011.
County Councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: “Good roads are important to residents and businesses in the county.
“We have a huge rural network – stretching more than 6,000-kilometres – and this plan of attack will help to get us on the front foot in tackling this ongoing difficult challenge.
“We always tackle high-risk potholes as soon as possible and this extra investment will now help us to tackle the backlog of lower category, older potholes which are still important to local communities.
“As well as directly fixing the pothole we will also be carrying out hot-spot patching on wider sections where there are a number of defects, so we get the best fix every time with the budget we have available.
“We deploy a variety of repair methods depending on the location and the road condition and over the next few months our crews will be out across the county working hard to improve the condition of our roads.”
Community leaders hope the extra cash will stop their vehicles being damaged by potholed roads across the county.
Wolstanton Residents’ Association chairman Brian Birks said: “There must be 500 potholes in Wolstanton. Wedgwood Street is ridiculous, it is horrendous to drive along, and it must be the worst street in the county. But I have no faith in the council improving matters. Park Avenue and South Fields Avenue are also bad.”
Biddulph Valley North Community Association chairman Bob Hart said: “The potholes which are repaired don’t seem to last that long and then turn into another pothole so repairing them is only a temporary job. Akesmoor Lane is one bad road in Biddulph – it’s about a mile long and it is absolutely abysmal.
“These potholes have to be filled in properly and sealed properly to stop them reappearing in a matter of weeks.”