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31 January 2011, 06:00
We’re being told that potholes are being repaired – we just have to be patient.
Highways teams have been busy over the past month filling thousands of potholes, caused by the extreme winter weather over the Christmas season.
Since the beginning of January, around 4,500 have been fixed in Hertfordshire at a cost of more than 300-thousand pounds.
Stuart Pile is in charge of highways in the county. He's been telling Heart:
"Weather permitting we can get round to the most serious potholes usually in 24 hours but it can be a few days for some of the others. Its no different this month to normal, the number of potholes is consistently higher in January, February and March than in other parts of the year.
“It’s not as bad as 2010 where we had in Jan well over 7,000 reported and repaired. The milder weather is helping but it’s also making it easier to identify so we’re out there catching back.”
" Transport of Buckinghamshire has reported 1,750 road defects they have seen to and Central Bedfordshire Council say they have fixed 418 in the district during the same time.
Val Letheren, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport said:
"Our guys are working their hardest to rectify any problems that the roads throw up. It's so important, however, that we all embrace the Big Society initiative and take responsibility for reporting potholes on the roads that we travel on. It's so easy to visit our Service Information Centre and log the details of the defect."
Luton Borough Council has told Heart they are “undertaking a major operation to repair damage caused to roads and footways” – with 242 potholes this month filled at a cost of £5,137.
To deal with the amount of potholes one council has even set up a new scheme. The ‘Pothole Hit Squad’ will react to calls from the public in Bedford to quickly repair problems potholes throughout the borough, armed with new equipment to allow them to carry out permanent repair works. This new scheme is designed to fix smaller potholes as quickly as possible.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said:
“We have put a great deal of extra funding into local roads and pavements, with more resurfacing and repairs taking place across the Borough. But the fight back against the backlog of works left by the former County Council is not just about spending more money; it’s also about spending it more wisely.
“Thanks to investments we’ve made, the new Pothole Hit Squad will be able to be out on the streets carrying out swift, high quality repairs to potholes reported by local residents."
How are potholes fixed?
Potholes fall into two categories - CAT1 and CAT2 - depending on their size and potential danger to road users.
Temporary repairs may be carried out to dangerous potholes to make the road safe, however where possible permanent repairs are made.
This involves cutting out the area around the pothole to make a uniform shape with no jagged edges.
The hole is then cleaned out and coated with a layer of binder to act as an adhesive, is then filled with hot road surfacing material, then raked and compacted.
Once this material has cooled, the road can be reopened to traffic.
How to report potholes where you live
Hertfordshire - 01923 471320 or online at http://www.hertsdirect.org/actweb/hfr/default.cfm
Central Bedfordshire - 0300 300 8049 or online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/weather.
Bedford - 01234 228661 or email email@example.com
Luton - 01582 510333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Buckinghamshire - 0845 230 2882 or online at www.buckscc.gov.uk/transport
Northamptonshire – 0800 232323 or email email@example.com
Milton Keynes - 01908 252570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org