Council clears the backlog of potholes ahead of schedule

A pothole.
A pothole.

Northumberland County Council has announced that it has cleared the backlog of potholes, ahead of the target date of the end of the month.

Since January this year, council staff have filled in the outstanding backlog of 12,213 potholes and since May 2013, the backlog of more than 32,000 potholes.

Simultaneously, this year the council has been carrying out its normal road repair programme which has seen an additional 30,000 potholes cleared.

However, currently there are around 30 locations in the county where there has been more serious structural damage and these are included in the capital programme, to be repaired by this autumn.

The council has been lobbying the Government consistently for extra funding to help repair the large number of potholes, which are a legacy of a lack of capital investment in the roads over a number of years.

Just fixing potholes is not a long-term solution, but it will give the council around three years’ breathing space so it can put in place a longer-term plan of more permanent repairs.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said:”We have managed to secure £16.8million in government funding over the last three years, including £2.9million announced last week.

“However, many tens of millions of pounds of capital investment will be needed to ensure the life of the roads for years to come. This is an issue that this council, as well as many others, will face.

“Our workforce has worked very hard in order to clear this backlog of potholes. We will continue to do all we can to make the roads as safe as possible for drivers in our county.”