Grantham Journal column: Setting our pothole priorities
Unfortunately, it is that time of year again when we start to see potholes forming on roads across the county.
It’s normal for more potholes to develop during the winter, but the weather this year has been particularly bad for the roads. The combination of wet weather, freezing temperatures and mild spells means potholes are even more likely to occur.
We’re repairing thousands of potholes every month, with over 4,000 dealt with in December alone. And just on Wednesday we were in Grantham again for emergency repairs on New Beacon Road.
Dangerous defects are fixed as a matter of urgency, with other issues being prioritised and dealt with as resources allow. That way we can keep on top of things as best we can.
Our first choice is always a permanent fix, and we try to avoid temporary repairs as far as possible. However, in some circumstances, for example if extensive repairs are required or traffic management is needed to carry out the work safely, we will sometimes make a temporary repair to keep the road safe while the necessary arrangements are made.
Broadly speaking the timescale for a repair will depend on the severity of the pothole and the type of road it is located on.
Generally, if a pothole is considered a safety issue (which usually means it is 40mm or deeper) it will be dealt with within the following timescales:
A roads and busiest B roads - made safe within 24 hours and a repair arranged
B roads and busiest C roads - 7 days
C roads and unclassified roads - 28 days
But these timescales can be affected by other factors, e.g. bad weather, high traffic levels.
More minor potholes (less than 40mm deep) can take longer to repair. However, most should be dealt with within three months.
The council spends a total around £50m on highways maintenance each year. While this sounds like a lot of money, we have 5,500 miles of road to maintain and that funding will only go so far. It’s for that reason that we are calling on the Government for fairer funding for Lincolnshire.
If councils here received the average funding for council areas in England, the region would benefit from £116 million of extra funding for services every year – some of which could be used towards highways repairs. This would make an enormous difference.
We have people out inspecting our highways regularly, but, with so many roads to maintain, it’s impossible for our officers to be aware of every single issue at any one time.
So we actively encourage people to get in touch when they find a pothole or other defect.
To report a highways fault, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/faultreporting or call 01522 782070.