Big rise in potholes on our roads
THE severe weather last winter led to a dramatic increase in the number of potholes in Suffolk.The number of potholes dealt with by roads engineers across the county increased from 7,700 in 2008/9 to 10,500 in 2009/10 according to figures released by the county council following a Freedom of Information request.
THE severe weather last winter led to a dramatic increase in the number of potholes in Suffolk.
The number of potholes dealt with by roads engineers across the county increased from 7,700 in 2008/9 to 10,500 in 2009/10 according to figures released by the county council following a Freedom of Information request. However, the totals do not include Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds where the county pays the borough councils to maintain the roads.
The figures also reveal that the average cost of emergency repairs to a pothole was �75. If a major repair was needed, it would cost considerably more than that. That means that the amount spent on emergency repairs to potholes in rural areas - and in towns including Lowestoft - went up from �577,500 to �787,500.
The vast majority of the potholes dealt with by the county were in the west of the county - that has the largest number of road miles.
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But the size of towns is not necessarily an indication of the number of potholes reported.
Twice as many potholes were reported in Haverhill - 189 - as in any other town in the county.
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This was followed by Sudbury and Woodbridge with 95 and 93 respectively, whereas Lowestoft - which has a population greater than those three towns combined - had only 72 potholes reported.
The cost of long-term repairs to potholes is many times this figure and the Government made a grant of nearly �2m available to repair the county's roads in the aftermath of the winter damage.
County council appeals to the public to help report potholes led to a major increase in the number reported; in 2008/9 the highways department had about 1,700 calls from the public while last year it had more than 3,000 calls about potholes.
County councillor with responsibility for transport, Guy McGregor, was delighted that the number of calls from the public had increased. He said: 'The maintenance of a good highway network is one of the fundamental services for a county council to perform - and the more eyes and ears we have to let us know of any problems the better.
'Our staff are always carrying out surveys of roads, but this kind of help from the public is an invaluable extra tool for us.'