Suffolk: Blitz on potholes to tackle thousands of damaged sections of roads

A pothole filled with water on St Edmund's Road in Ipswich.

A pothole filled with water on St Edmund's Road in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

EXTRA teams of pothole-busters have been put on high alert to tackle thousands of damaged sections of roads across the region.

And Suffolk’s transport spokesman is confident potholes will have been filled by the summer allowing comprehensive road repairs to be completed.

As the cold winter eases, teams of road engineers are preparing for a blitz on potholes as the ground thaws.

Across the area thousands of potholes have opened up which gangs of engineers are starting to tackle.

In Suffolk the number of road gangs has temporarily been increased from 18 to 26 as the county struggles to get on top of the problem.

In the last three weeks they dealt with 2,000 potholes across the county but that number could increase significantly as the temperatures rise. In Essex engineers carried out 55,000 road repairs over the last financial year – and are aware of 4,200 more sections of damaged road which need attention, many of them potholes.

In Suffolk the county’s budget for road maintenance is £27million – including an extra £3m from the Government to cover the cost of emergency repairs. Suffolk cabinet member with responsibility for roads Guy McGregor said the increase in the number of teams was vital to get potholes repaired on time.

Most Read

“We are hoping to have sorted all of them out by the early summer which is the surface dressing season – that is when our teams get on with sealing roads and making the general surfaces better.”

Potholes form when ice melts and expands, causing road surfaces to crack. Usually the majority form in early March – but the long cold winter means more are expected to come later this year.

Mr McGregor said the long-term answer would be to completely rebuild more roads – but that would not be practical for every route in Suffolk.

“You have to remember that unlike some other services, roads are used by everyone in the county in some way, well by about 99% of the population anyway!”

In Essex 44 gangs are working on the county’s roads. The county council will be spending £180 million on Essex roads over the next four years including £35 million extra over the first two years.

An Essex County Council spokeswoman said: “Recent bad weather will inevitably cause damage to our road network, and we are doing everything we can to repair potholes as quickly as possible.

“This work will intensify over the coming weeks as weather conditions improve. We ask residents to report them to us so that we can inspect and carry out required repairs as quickly as possible.”

Both Suffolk and Essex county councils have special areas to report potholes on their websites: www.suffolk.gov.uk and www.essex.gov.uk

If you know of any especially large potholes contact the EADT newsdesk at news@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter