Poll: The state of Essex’s roads revealed

The severe winter weather has left many of Britain's roads with pothole damage, which are a danger t

The severe winter weather has left many of Britain's roads with pothole damage, which are a danger to drivers and can also lead to broken and cracked windscreens. - Credit: Archant

The true state of Essex’s roads can today be revealed after nearly 32,000 road defects including potholes were reported in just 12 months.

Complaints about Essex roads reaches 30,000

Complaints about Essex roads reaches 30,000 - Credit: Archant

Essex County Council had a total of 31,691 lumps, bumps, holes and other defects reported on the road network according to statistics released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Engineers treated 22,441 of those defects while work on 9,250 remains outstanding.

The council spent £8,535,893 in 2012/13 on patching up and repairing damage on the roads including potholes.

An Essex Highways engineer said: “We maintain one of the largest road networks in the country with 8,500 miles of roads and footpaths.

“We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the road network and as part of this we carry out repairs as quickly as possible with out highways teams focused on fixing potholes, especially safety critical defects that have been reported to us.

“We continue to urge residents to report road defects, such as potholes, using the reporting tool on the Essex County Council website which will help us to repair road defects as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

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Motorists whose vehicles were damaged by potholes on Essex roads made 2,087 compensation claims between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013.

A total of 1,472 of the claims are still open and Essex County Council has so far paid out £25,361.76 for damages and third party costs.

The engineer added: “In regards to compensation to those claiming for pothole damage to their vehicles, all compensation claims received by Essex County Council are investigated fully and costs are only paid if the council feels they are liable as the highways authority.”

MP for Harwich and North Essex Bernard Jenkin said the county’s roads suffer more wear and tear due to heavy usage.

“Motorists are more likely to claim for damage than they used to be and roads are more heavily used then ever,” he added.

“It’s hardly surprising there’s more wear and tear on the roads and more claims.

“Essex County Council has a good highways authority and the conditions of Essex’s roads is much better than many other areas though the roads are showing the effects of tight public money spending settlements of the huge debts that the government is having to deal with.”