Essex: Pot hole numbers fall on main roads but rise on local streets

Footways set to be repaired.

Footways set to be repaired. - Credit: Archant

There are just 72 pot holes on major roads in north Essex – but more than 7,500 on local streets.

The latest quarterly figures from Essex County Council reveal more than half of the county’s pot holes on the local road network are in Colchester, Braintree and Tendring.

It has prompted concerns that County Hall is focusing too much on major routes rather than streets used on a daily basis by residents.

The data shows on priority one routes, the biggest roads in the county excluding the A120 and A12, there were 72 defects in the three districts at the end of September, down from 346 at the end of June.

There was a similar reduction in pot holes on priority two routes, those linking strategic roads to local ones, with 1, 257 defects being reduced to just 107 within the three months.

However the number of pot holes on the local network rose slightly over the summer from 7,417 to 7,505 – equal to 52% of the 14,549 across the whole of Essex.

Julie Young, leader of the Labour group at County Hall, said: “Though we welcome the improvement we remain concerned about the approach taken to prioritise repairs and the extent to which pot holes have got to get to before they act.

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“When we did our research into accident statistics the local roads are the ones where people trip and fall.

“Main roads are inconvenient as they create more damage to cars because they are more well-used, but you have to use local roads to get to them and the majority of personal injuries occur on local roads.”

Rodney Bass, county councillor for highways and transportation, said: “By doubling the number of crews fixing our main roads to 36 we have seen some dramatic results.

“Those crews have been moving over to tackle the local rural roads for several weeks to start bringing down the number of potholes and defects on those roads as well.

“By solving this problem strategically we are improving our roads and increasing safety across the county.”

More than 11,000 defects have been repaired across the three networks over the last three months in Essex.