Pothole reports doubled in Suffolk – even before the big freeze arrived
Suffolk’s road gangs dealt with twice as many potholes in January this year than they did in the same period in 2017 – but still couldn’t keep up with the number of new orders that came in.
And the cold weather at the start of March has caused another rash of holes to open up on the council’s roads, causing further headaches for Suffolk Highways engineers.
In January, the last month for which audited figures are available, road gangs completed 1,721 road repair orders. The number of potholes may have been greater because some orders covered more than one pothole. In January 2017, 949 repairs were completed.
In the same month 2,278 repairs were ordered (up from 1,084 in January 2017) – however the figures do not entirely overlap because some of the orders completed in that month could have been placed in October, November or December.
Many of the orders place could be in the “14-week” category which meant they might not be completed until the end of April.
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And officials are steeling themselves for a sharp increase in the number of pothole as more roads start to crumble after the big freeze.
Not all roads reported for repair are considered bad enough for work – of those reported in January 472 were not considered to have reached the threshold for intervention (17% of the total).
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Suffolk County Council deputy leader Jane Storey, who is responsible for roads, said: “During the last year we have responded to over 12,500 highway defects across Suffolk through our reactive service; these have resulted from customers reports and our routine inspections of the highway.
“A large number of these are pothole-related jobs that we’ve repaired; each job could represent multiple potholes. This gives an indication of the sheer volume of repairs we’re carrying out on a regular basis.
“We are continuing to explore ways of focussing efforts to help deal with the high volume of reports we’re receiving, including deploying additional gangs and using stronger temporary material to ensure maximum life of repairs.”
Potholes and other road defects can be reported to Suffolk Highways through its special website