Councillor says Essex residents ‘horrified’ by the state of local roads as 5,000 potholes wait to be fixed

A pothole

A pothole - Credit: David H.Tomlinson

More than 41,000 potholes in Essex’s roads were fixed in the last 12 months, the county’s council has revealed.

But a councillor has said more needs to be done to the 5,000 potholes on its local roads now the issue on its main highways is under control.

A total of 41,149 potholes and other defects were repaired across Essex in the last four quarters, leaving fewer than 500 outstanding on its priority one and two routes.

Priority one roads are described as “strategic roads with the highest volumes of traffic” while priority twos are those “which provide an essential traffic management and distributor function between the priority one network and local roads”.

But on local roads, which are all the others ECC is responsible for, there are more than 5,000 defects not yet fixed.

And Julie Young, leader of the council’s Labour group, thinks these routes now need to be the focus of improvement work.

She said people were “horrified” at the state of the minor roads where they lived.

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“It’s welcome that priority one and two roads have showed significant improvement,” Mrs Young said.

“However when you look at personal injury claims, we had nearly £3million worth not so long back.

“Most of these come from injuries sustained on local roads. The people I talk to are horrified by the state of their local roads.”

ECC has said it carried out 11,983 pothole repairs on local roads in the last three months with the number of outstanding repairs falling from 5,833 to 5,212.

But Mrs Young said it was the roads people walk and cycle on on a daily basis that need the most TLC.

“It’s a result of years and years of lack on investment in our local infrastructure,” she said. “The local roads still have a long way to go.”

A spokesman for ECC said: “We are on track to reduce potholes on our local roads, having started a specific programme to do so last October, and good progress has been made since then.

“Our focus on maintaining local roads will continue alongside improving the condition of priority routes across the county.”