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Suffolk: Is county really streets ahead in roadworks league table?

06:00 01 May 2014

Is Suffolk really the worst place in Britain for roadworks?

Is Suffolk really the worst place in Britain for roadworks?

Archant

Figures suggesting that Suffolk is the roadworks capital of Britain have been disputed by the county council.

Insurance company LV= contacted all local authorities across the country to find out which had the most roadworks underway in March this year.

Not all responded, but of those which did Suffolk came top of the national league table with nearly 2,000 roadworks ongoing – streets ahead of its nearest rival Leicestershire.

Suffolk recorded 1,906 individual roadworks in the county. Leicestershire trailed in second with 1,250.

There are 4,334 miles of road in Suffolk – suggesting there could be one roadworks site just over every two miles.

However bosses at Endeavour House insisted the county’s high position in the league table owed more to its thoroughness in answering FoI requests than the standard of its roads.

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport said: “Our response to the recent FOI included every highways related report that was on order at the time of request, however small.

“These reports cover a multitude of road related requests, including, broken kerbs, bent signs and street lighting repairs.

“We feel strongly that these figures are not indicative of the state of Suffolk’s roads. On the contrary, after Women’s Tour organisers scouted Suffolk’s roads for the up and coming cycling events, it was noted that these roads are some of the best they’d encountered.”

The weather had been a factor at the start of the year: “We’re now beginning to make good progress with pothole repairs since the extreme weather we faced during the winter period, and in the last month the number of outstanding orders has halved to just over 500.

“We’re also underway with an extensive programme of planned maintenance such as resurfacing and patching work, this is in addition to the extra work we’re able to carry out from the £2.9m allocated to us by central government.”

A total of 91 local authorities responded to the FoI request – however most of the large (geographically) county councils are absent from the top ten list which is dominated by urban councils like Brighton, Derby, Nottingham, Southwark and Rotherham which have comparatively low road mileages compared with large rural areas.

Peter Horton, Managing Director of LV= Road Rescue, said: “Local authorities face a difficult challenge to repair and maintain our roads this year, particularly given the impact of the adverse weather we have seen in recent months.

“With more cars on the road than ever, it will be hard to carry out roadworks without impacting drivers.”

8 comments

  • I think the reference to weather was really intended to make the point that works which would ordinarily have been carried out over the winter were hampered by the conditions and had to be carried out later in the year... Not entirely convinced about that argument, mind you!

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Poor planning and execution my be a factor. Work is currently underway to provide a pavement along one side of part of Rushmere Street. To do this the council are closing the whole road for 8 weeks. Not sure if the closure or duration are necessary for the work involved. Health and safety surely do not justify this. The high figure for roadworks in Suffolk may just be down to how many unfinished works are ongoing.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • The only thing extreme about the weather this winter was the wind. Did it blow open potholes in the road?

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Would be good to know how much salt was used gritting by the council in this "extreme weather" compared to other years. Obviously according to Newman it must of been quite a bit, as if it was not used then that would either mean the winter was not quite as severe as he believes or they did not send the gritters out. Either way his statement just makes the council look like a bunch of clowns

    Report this comment

    Emma

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • I see the words "adverse weather" and "extreme weather" have been used but didnt we have a mild winter with no snow,hardly any frost and not much rain this winter,excuses excuses just to make themselves look better when really ppl that are reading this article are laughing at him and saying "what a joke"

    Report this comment

    maria stu

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • "extreme weather we faced during the winter period" Newman we had one of the mildest winters in years! What planet are you on?

    Report this comment

    David White

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Nobody who lives locally is surprised by this, we are all too familiar with the incompetence of those who look after our roads and transport.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • If the county council had concentrated on potholed roads instead of new traffic lights everywhere and refurb of both bus stations(both look exactly the same minus toilets) everyone would be much happier.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

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