Potholes are a problem which can occur almost anywhere, particularly in late winter and early spring, when the road network has been subjected to freezing and thawing cycles. Deep potholes are the type of defect which require an urgent response, as they are a potential danger. We aim to have such deep potholes repaired or made safe within one working day, or five working days on minor rural roads.
Whenever possible, we carry out permanent repairs by cutting out the affected area around the pothole, sealing the sides of the hole, filling it with hot bitumen macadam and compacting the material with a roller or vibrating plate. This involves a considerable amount of equipment, so it is not always possible to be in the right place to carry out a full repair immediately on every urgent pothole. When this is not possible, we use cold material as an emergency measure and aim to go back to carry out a permanent repair in the near future, when the right gang are working in the area. Emergency repairs are not as effective as permanent ones and sometimes fail, so repeat visits are sometimes necessary.
In addition to repairing potholes, we carry out programmed patching work so that the road is prepared for surface dressing in the coming years. An inspector will walk the section of road and mark out the areas which are cracked, crazed and generally worn out and require attention with spray paint before the repair work starts on site. These sections are then cut out and carefully replaced with new material. Once a length of road has been thoroughly patched, it will probably be surface dressed within a couple of years.
Delivery of DfT Pothole Fund works - December 2014 update
In June 2014 the council was awarded an extra £ 4.85million of funding from the Department for Transport to be spent this year (2014/15) on pre-emptive and reactive pothole repairs. It follows a £ 168million Government cash injection to repair England's winter storm-damaged roads. The funding will have a direct benefit on the county's roads, with the council's 'find and fix' teams able to carry out more extensive and long-lasting repair work on larger areas of the road surface than just tackling individual potholes.
The council will be carrying out more 'planned patching' work, where whole streets are repaired and improved rather than tackling individual potholes. The work is already underway and will continue until March 2015. The additional funding will help make a real difference over the forthcoming months - with highways repairs teams out in force doing this work to make lasting and visible improvements to the county's highways.
Details of where work has been completed, and where work is currently in progress can be viewed in the DfT Pothole Fund - Works Update, December 2014 (pdf 93kb) .