Mid-summer before roads back on track

Pothole filling in north Northumberland.
Pothole filling in north Northumberland.

Work has started on repairs to north Northumberland’s road network following a harsh winter.

However, it is likely to be several months before the roads are back to their pre-winter condition.

Graham Bucknall, Northumberland County Council’s north area highways manager, said: “We are well aware that the condition of the roads has deteriorated massively over the past three or four months.

“We’ve had a particularly difficult winter with freeze and thaw which causes major problems and we’ve had a big snow event on top of that.

“We’ve been given an extra £900,000 to tackle it, which sounds a lot but it’s not really,” he told members of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

“We’ve had to put that out to tender and the contractors started last week. They are making good progress but it’s going to be a long drawn-out process, probably three or four months, to get back to where we were.

“We have enough (money) to tackle this round of potholes but it’s an on-going issue.”

Several councillors thanked the highways teams for their efforts during the Beast from the East.

Coun Trevor Thorne called for two specific areas to be addressed as soon as possible.

Of Rothbury to Weldon Bridge, he said: “The surface of the road is not good. We all know it’s due to drainage and subsidence. The road is next to the River Coquet so there is a big problem there. It’s unusual in that the surface sinks within the road so it’s quite unnerving.”

Of Pauperhaugh to Embleton Terrace, Longframlington, he said: “It’s had really severe erosion, especially following the melting snow. The road surface is down to the sub-structure. It’s in a bad place.”