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Tuesday 26 November 2013

Huge improvements made to Cheshire East roads in time for winter


With more than a 90 per cent reduction in public pothole reports, Cheshire East Council is making great strides in its efforts to improve the roads.

The number of potholes reported to the Council was more than 3,600 during January this year, following the second wettest year on record in the UK.

Now, this has cut dramatically to less than 300 – a massive tenfold reduction.

Cheshire East’s highways team is working hard to radically improve the Borough’s highway network and is delighted with the 56,000-plus potholes repaired since January. The initial 50,000 target for the year was achieved during the summer.

And, with winter now in full swing, taxpayers have a much-improved highway network.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We could not hide from the fact our roads were in a bad state of repair 12 months ago so it is encouraging to know that pothole reports are down so dramatically and our highway network looks so much better.

“I made pothole repairs a major priority when I became leader and I am delighted to say we are now on course to reach the 100,000 mark, under my leadership, in the near future.

“However, that does not mean our work is done and we will continue to monitor the roads and prioritise works accordingly.

“We are investing £25m in the roads during a two-year period and we are now halfway through this. We have not just fixed potholes, we are undertaking extensive re-surfacing works across the road network.”

Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member in charge of the environment, added: “The majority of potholes and ‘defects’ are now self-identified through our team of highways inspectors. And even these have reduced by 43 per cent.

“Since January 2013, the Highways Investment Programme (HIP) has delivered approximately 175 km of repaired road, including resurfacing, surface dressing, micro-asphalt and permanent patching.

“Significantly, members of the public, elected members of the Council and our frontline highways inspectors have all commented on the huge improvement to the network.

“We are proud to have delivered all inspections on time and ensured that repairs to all defects identified are completed quickly.”

Meanwhile, the Council has been busy emptying more than 41,000 of its 90,000 gullies in the last seven months.

Having taken advantage of the longer days, this represents around 80 per cent of the annual target of 53,000, releasing valuable resource to provide vital winter services over the coming months.

This year, a dedicated gully care team was established with two new cleaning and jetting units and a state-of-the-art waste recycling facility based at Brunswick Wharf depot, in Congleton.

This depot houses a waste recycling facility, known as ‘Moos’, which recovers water from the waste and recycles this for use in the gully cleansing process. The remaining solids are sent for waste disposal but this only amounts to a small proportion of the waste collected.

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