Bid to fix county's pothole problem

DRINK-drivers, speeders and road-ragers are among the most publicised hazards on the country's busy roads.But a council is aiming to tackle a lesser publicised but still expensive problem which affects drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike - potholes.

Annie Davidson

DRINK-drivers, speeders and road-ragers are among the most publicised hazards on the country's busy roads.

But a council is aiming to tackle a lesser publicised but still expensive problem which affects drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike - potholes.

Essex County Council has launched a new project which hopes to make the problem history on the county's roads - and save cash in the process.


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Making Potholes History was officially unveiled yesterday and the public are now being urged to call in and report the problem.

The council will also be sending out “pothole patrols” using digital imaging and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation to locate the ruts in the road.

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It hopes repairing the potholes quickly will reduce the number of accidents caused by them and the large number of compensation claims which come from damage or injuries.

Making Potholes History was trialled in Harlow and Braintree districts in July when double the number of potholes were fixed and tens of thousands of pounds were saved.

The project's aims are:

n To approximately double the amount of potholes repaired on Essex's roads;

n Improve the quality of potholes repairs by making permanent instead of temporary fixes;

n Repairing every pothole on the first visit;

n Improving public information on pothole repairs in Essex

n Use savings made through better working methods to invest elsewhere in providing better roads in Essex.

Norman Hume, Essex County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Every survey we do tells us that potholes are a problem for road users, so this is a great opportunity for citizens to help us to make potholes history.”

Professor Stephen Glaister, foundation director for the RAC, said: “Potholes pose a real danger to pedestrians and two-wheeled traffic.

“At night-time, these dangers are hidden, whilst during daylight hours, cyclists and motorcyclists have accidents as they swerve to avoid them.

“Such accidents cause enormous personal distress and lead to a mountain of compensation claims which could be avoided if schemes such as the one by Essex County Council are successfully implemented.”

The public are being encouraged to report potholes via the “report a highway fault” link on the Essex County Council website at www.essex.gov.uk then select “pothole or other road defect” or by telephoning 0845 603 7631 or your local office.

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