Councils given pothole advice

00.00 | 30 November 2011 | | 3 comments

Councils across England have been given advice on how to tackle the problem of potholes on their roads, following the publication of a review commissioned by Norman Baker, local transport minister.

The Pothole Review – part of the Coalition Government’s £6m Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme – looks at how best to fix potholes once they have formed, but also how to prevent them from appearing in the first place.

The recommendations fall into three main themes:

  • Prevention is better than cure – intervening at the right time will reduce the amount of potholes forming and prevent bigger problems later.
  • Right first time – do it once and get it right, rather than face continuous bills.
  • Clarity for the public – local highway authorities need to communicate to the public what is being done and how it is being done.

Norman Baker said: “We all know the misery that potholes can cause to highway users and local communities and the recent series of harsh winters has only served to intensify the situation.

“We’ve given £3 billion to councils for road maintenance over the next four years but money can only go so far and the old adage rings true: prevention is indeed better than cure.

“I would urge all those involved with highways maintenance, including councillors, chief executives, local highway practitioners, those in the utility sector and contractors to adopt the approaches set out in this report, not only to make real cost savings but also to provide a high quality service that both the road user and local residents deserve.”

Matthew Lugg, president of the Association of Directors of Economy, Environment, Planning and Transport, who led the Pothole Review, said: “This Review has focused on key principles and strategies to reduce potholes in the future. There are a number of key recommendations, which when implemented by the highway sector will lead to more effective outcomes for the highway users and the economy.”

Commenting on the report, Steve Spender, president of the Institute of Highway Engineers, said: “Our roads have shown a high level of deterioration over the last few years not only due to the successive severe winters, but also as a result of under-investment in the network. Most authorities are progressing with the development of applying asset management principles in their highway maintenance regimes, but there is still a shortage of experience and knowledge in this field that will aid us in ensuring that we make most effective use of resources.


“By underpinning the knowledge that is required through training and competencies, better resilience can be applied into our network through a greater degree of preventative maintenance rather than reactive maintenance. But, as mentioned in the report, this requires a greater degree of medium and long term financial planning.”


Click here to read the full DfT news release.


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    Another reason why more action is needed locally without the interference from ‘central government’. Local Councils are well aware of the pothole problem, but are restrained by finances and directives controlled by central government – and Brussels is part of that problem.

    Derek, Salop.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    If I remember rightly the DfT several years ago informed the Local Authorities that a pot hole would now be considered dangerous if it was at least 6 inch [15cm] deep,It used to be 4 inches [10cm] but that is now to be considered non-dangerous?

    A lot of damage done to our road surfaces is just that, surface damage of one skin deep or say 2 inches [5cm] and not considered a problem in the past. Neither is the gravel that comes out of such a large surface considered of any danger, it’s just normal road deterioration.

    Tell that to any cyclist or twv rider, when they come out of hospital.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Could it or would it be possible to ask local authorities not only to contract out the repair of a pot hole but to clean up the mess or gravel that came out of it.

    There is nothing worse for a bicycle or other twv than to avoid a pothole but lose the wheel on the gravel that invariably spreads to corners or centre of road.

    The highways authority tend to overlook this very real danger as it would mean sweeping the roads of all the loose gravel, but it really is a danger though I have not found one yet that would be in agreement, possibly because they don’t ride bikes.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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