Patch-up repairs ‘do not work properly’

Farmer George Lowes and Coun Glen Sanderson.
Farmer George Lowes and Coun Glen Sanderson.

Potholes are continuing to blight the county’s roads and one councillor has questioned the investment made in repair equipment.

Northumberland County Council spent thousands of pounds on jetpatchers, which were designed to quickly and effectively repair potholes.

But Coun Glen Sanderson has said that he doesn’t think the machinery is working effectively.

Two weeks ago, a section of road in Longhorsley was repaired by the jetpatcher. But a week later the potholes had re-appeared.

Coun Sanderson said: “No one blames the staff for this – but it looks like the machines the Labour/Independent-run council has brought in may not up be up to the job.

“I have to question whether the investment in these expensive machines has been a reasonable use of taxpayers’ money, or if the council is putting sufficient time and money into tackling the scourge of potholes right across our county.”

Last year Coun Sanderson tabled a formal question at council which asked for figures showing how many claims had been made for damage to vehicles caused by potholes.

From December to May last year, there were 606 claims against the county council with 5,168 kilometres of roads compared to 228 against Cumbria County Council with a much larger network of 8,111 kilometres.

“Those are figures that we don’t want to see repeated – it’s not fair on drivers and it is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” said Coun Sanderson.

“Local people worry that the council is taking men and machines from the rural areas that desperately need attention to the Ashington and Blyth areas, and forgetting that every part of the county should be treated fairly.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for north Northumberland, added: “The continuing problems with potholes and crumbling verges on our rural roads is unsustainable.

“We have had a mild winter so far fortunately, but the heavy rain seems to simply wash away the patching efforts of our hardworking council workers.

“I want to see the leadership at County Hall invest in effective long-term solutions to our rural roads.”

Last week we reported that Coun Gordon Castle had asked for Victoria Crescent in Alnwick to be fixed urgently. A council spokeswoman said the repairs were looked at and completed within seven days.