Cheshire East Council is winning the battle against potholes thanks to a proactive repair programme backed by major investment.
Reports or complaints about potholes and the need for repairs have fallen by 83 per cent to 2,849 over the past two years – down from 17,241 in 2012/13.
Many of these reports have been actively encouraged by the Council’s ‘Tell Dave’ initiative, where members of the public are being asked to alert us about roads in need of repair.
Over the past two years, the Council has repaired more than 100,000 potholes and other defects and has resurfaced more than 400km of road.
As a result of the repair programme, the number of liability claims against the Council has dropped to 244 this year, from 1,252 in 2012/13.
Compensation totalling £558,245 was paid out to claimants in 2012 but for claims lodged in 2014 only £2,308 has been paid out so far – a drop of 99.5 per cent.
This sharp fall in the amount paid out is a clear indication that the Council has been successful in improving the condition of the Borough’s roads.
Our investment has seen a big drop in the proportion of the road network that requires repair. The percentage of ‘A’ roads needing attention has dropped to three per cent from six per cent over the past three years and the figure for ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads has fallen to five per cent from 11 per cent.
Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for service commissioning, said: “We are up to date with the safety-related defects, those which are greater than 50mm.
“That doesn’t mean there are not potholes on the network but we don’t have backlogs from former years. We are completely open about these figures and don’t hide anything from the public. The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount.
“We are continuing to monitor our roads constantly through an inspection regime which identifies current and future problems. We also value comments and reports from the public.
“As we know, weather plays havoc with our roads, having spread more than 1,000 tonnes of salt across the network in the past week we expect the number of defects to rise.
“Repair techniques have changed over time. We now use velocity patching machines that can deal with a high volume of repairs quickly. We also have higher quality materials that perform better in cold conditions or bad weather.
“In December, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that Cheshire East would receive £10.5m for highways improvements and potholes in the financial year 2015/16.
“The Council has already directed huge resources towards highways maintenance and pothole repairs and the funding will help support our commitment to improving the condition of our highways network. This is great news for our road users!”