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Calls double to Cumbria pothole hotline after cold spell

Calls to Cumbria’s pothole hotline have more than doubled in the wake of the deep freeze that gripped the county.

Roads have cracked up following weeks of ice and snow.

Sub-zero temperatures followed by spells of slightly warmer weather are behind the potholes.

Cumbria County Council’s Highways Hotline has been bombarded with 202 calls in just eight days as the recent thaw revealed holes and road damage.

The calls were made by members of the public between December 27 and January 4.

In the same period last year, 81 calls were made to the hotline reporting highways defects.

A spokesman for Cumbria Highways said the issue appears to be widespread with problems reported on rural roads as well as those in the city and towns.

The spokesman added: “We anticipated there would be an increase in the number of potholes on roads across Cumbria given the severity and extended nature of the recent freezing weather.

“Repair teams will be working around the county fixing potholes and we’ll aim, where possible, to carry out permanent repairs at the first opportunity instead of doing patch-up jobs where holes are filled temporarily and repaired permanently at a later date.

“First time permanent repairs not only minimise inconvenience for motorists, they also mean our teams are not repeatedly going back to carry out repairs at the same locations.

“We’re urging members of the public to help play a part in our recovery from the big freeze by making us aware of potholes. By assisting as our eyes on the ground, they are providing valuable assistance.”

It is not yet known how high the repair bill will be for fixing the holes in the county’s roads this year.

But last February, hundreds of motorists swamped a hotline with complaints about potholes, while council chiefs set aside £3m for roads repairs.

Early in 2010, the council sent out 20 highways hit squads – five more than normal – to carry out a repairs blitz.

Last January alone, Cumbria County Council’s highways hotline took 865 phone calls, mostly about potholes.

It was also revealed the council spent £600,000 between 2005 and 2009 as it fought compensation claims made because of accidents linked to potholes and uneven pavements.

A pothole is formed by water getting into small cracks in the road. As the water freezes the cracks grow larger and as cars drive over the road, the surface is broken up and lifted out.

Anyone wanting to report highways issues including potholes should call the Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609.

Have your say

Newtown road is a disgrace it got patched up after the januarys bad weather but its just as bad again.It was very dangerous if you ride a bike as you need to dodge these holes,its about time it was dug up and resurfaced right.

Posted by k scott on 21 February 2011 at 12:14

@DiplomaInAdvancedDriving - Whenever I think of potholes the exact same stretch of road you mention comes to mind, in particular from the end of Shadygrove Rd all the way to the Routledges bakers. It is so bad, in places at least 100m sections, that you cannot avoid it other than drive in the centre of the road which is barely wide enough for the 2 lanes of traffic it has going down it.

Posted by TopSod on 7 January 2011 at 11:32

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