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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbria winning the war on potholes

Cumbria appears to be winning its war on potholes, with statistics revealing a sharp fall in both the numbers reported and the amount being paid out in compensation.

Potholes photo
Potholed road

Despite a recent survey which suggested that the county’s roads were among the worst in the north west, figures suggest Cumbria County Council is rapidly putting the problem right.

Last year, highways officials had 10,541 calls about potholes from the public.

In the previous year, there were more than three times as many calls – 35,388.

The number of road defects was also down – 16,168 compared to the 2010 figure of 35,949.

The figures, released in response to a Freedom of Information request by the national breakdown firm Britannia Rescue, also show a big fall in the amount paid out in compensation for pot hole related road accidents.

Cumbria County Council confirmed that pay-outs amounted to just under £30,000, around £10,000 less than in 2010, and more than £130,000 less than the total for 2008, when payments – which also include legal costs – topped £186,000.

The final piece of good news was the amount of time it typically takes highways teams to fix potholes. The average repair time has been more than halved in a year, down to just 14 days compared to 30 days in 2010.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “The Better Highways initiative has really paid dividends in reducing the amount of time it takes to carry out pothole repairs on our road network.

“Under Better Highways, calls regarding highways defects go straight from the public to the relevant area highways office.

“They are then repaired by two-person ‘fix and find’ teams with in-depth local knowledge of the areas they operate in.

“Using local teams means problems are diagnosed and resolved quicker and emphasis is put on getting the job right first time to avoid the need for further repairs having to be carried out at a later date.”

A survey published in July showed that 34 per cent of the county’s roads show “some deterioration” and require investigation, while 10 per cent show “considerable deterioration” and will need treatment in the next year.

That compared with national averages of 25 per cent and five per cent respectively.

The GMB union said the problem would get worse because of budget cuts.

Commenting at the time, councillor Tony Markley, the Cabinet member responsible, said: “Our roads are vastly improved compared with what they used to be like.”

Have your say

It has taken me 11 months to get the council to repair two bad potholes where I live, one of them was 11cm deep. They kept telling me they would be repaired, but they never were. They marked them repaired on the on-line reporting system - I guess so the figures don't look bad.

Posted by Kathrine Reeves on 24 November 2012 at 11:46

I dont know how we are winning the war,i reported a full road nearly 12 months ago and not one pothole has been repaired.The road in question being the Weddicar bridge road between,Frizington and Hensingham.

Posted by tony on 11 September 2012 at 15:53

View all 17 comments on this article

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