Pothole plague costs county council millions

Potholes like this one are costing the council millions and causing chaos across the county.

Potholes like this one are costing the council millions and causing chaos across the county.

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THE worst winter in 100 years has caused a huge pothole problem across Lincolnshire, which the council is struggling to combat.

More than twice as many calls to report potholes on the county’s roads where received by the council in November and December this year as last.

And it is estimated that they are adding to the over £300m estimated backlog of needed road repairs, which is six times more than the county council’s road maintenance budget of £46.5m for the entire year.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport Councillor William Webb said: “I think the expectations which the public have of the local authority are greater than we can deliver.

“We are doing our damnedest to get on top of it but need everyone to please bear with us.”

Every day, teams are trying to tackle the problem but assistant director for highways and transport at the council Paul Coathup said the backlog is an impossible challenge with new potholes forming all the time.

Mr Coathup said: “Potholes are sadly an inevitable result of this extreme winter.

“We can promise residents that, whilst we’ll never have a perfect road network, we will make every effort to keep this as safe as possible and to improve roads where we can, or at least minimise further deterioration.”

Potholes are categorised by their seriousness, which is determined by the size of the hole, location, traffic and relative danger.

However, the repairs cannot be made in cold or icy conditions so temporary patches are often put in place.

There may also be delays because permanent repairs often require road closures or traffic management, which need to be planned.

And the workforce who repair the potholes also carry out gritting so in freezing temperatures road-salting is the first priority.

Mr Coathup said: “We ask residents to bear with us as we tackle Lincolnshire’s vast road network as quickly as we can within limited resources.”

Unfortunately, he added, nothing can be done to protect the roads from potholes so the battle is likely to continue.

He said: “The fight against potholes dates back to Roman times and are caused by Mother Nature and Father Time.”

To report a pothole call the council’s customer service centre on 01522 782070 or go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk

l Is your road blighted by potholes? Has your car been damaged? Tell us about it: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk