Cheshire East Council is urging local residents to report any potholes which may have appeared in the roads following the recent ice and snow.
The Authority say the recent severe weather conditions have left roads exposed to ‘freeze-thaw’ damage. This happens when water seeps into cracks in the road and is frozen. It then expands, causing the surface of the road to break up and in some cases cause potholes to form.
Cheshire East Council and its contractor BAM Nuttall, along with local award-winning partners ‘Asphalt Re-lay’, now use new technologies to repair potholes. An infra-red heat source, with additional materials is added to the pothole and compacted to provide a joint-free permanent patch.
The Authority deals with over 20,000 highway defects every year and in anticipation of an increase in reports of potholes following the severe weather, five additional crews have been assigned to deal with repairs.
Cheshire East Council Leader, Wesley Fitzgerald, said: “Wet weather conditions, combined with the freezing temperatures, destroys tarmac very quickly. The recent severe weather has resulted in the increased rate of deterioration of road surfaces.”
“The Council is working hard to keep drivers safer by fixing the holes as quickly as possible. However, some ground is now waterlogged meaning repairs in these areas will not be possible at the current time. Temporary solutions will be used, where necessary, until the weather improves.”
The announcement from Cheshire East follows a recent warning from the AA that emergency road maintenance funding is required to stop crumbling roads costing more in compensation and accidents.
Edmund King, AA President, said: "The pothole season has come early this year. Drivers will be relieved when the snow has gone but shouldn't be complacent. Due to the severe winter, it could be a record year for potholes – a million scars of the worst winter in 30 years."
He added "We believe that emergency funding is required to stop the vicious circle of crumbling roads costing more in compensation, accident claims and hospital admissions.”
Last year's Local Annual Authority Road Maintenance survey (ALARM) found that more than £63.2 million was spent filling in 968,195 potholes during 2008/9. However, a further £47 million was lost to compensation claims and extra staff costs.
Local residents can report potholes online to Cheshire East Council or call 0300 123 5500.