Pothole season comes early

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.

Cheshire East Council, Highways, Potholes, Roads


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Lisa Reeves
Tuesday 9th February 2010 at 11:59 am
The recent request to report the locations of potholes, following the adverse period of winter weather, has proven a success, says Cheshire East Council.

The Authority has now received thousands of reports of potholes across the area and as a result additional resources have been brought in to help with the repairs.

From January there has been a 100% increase in pothole reports for the same period last year, with a large amount of calls still being recorded daily.

Cheshire East Council Head of Environmental Services, Phil Sherratt, said
"I would like to thank all those local residents who have taken the time to report potholes. There is no doubt the weather over the past two months has caused significant damage which will take many months and considerable resources to rectify."

"I would urge local residents to remain vigilant and continue to report potholes. Such are the number now logged in our system; we have to continually re-prioritise our works. Safety of our highway network is paramount and we will continue to do our utmost to react to resident’s requests."

Local residents can report potholes to Cheshire East Council on 0845 002 0666 or online by going to http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk