The pothole ‘quick fix’ that lasts for just weeks
COUNCILS have been accused of failing to repair potholes properly as it was claimed the majority use a temporary ‘throw and go’ method to fix them.
Motorists and cyclists frequently complain of potholes reappearing months – or even weeks – after being repaired.
A manager at construction giant JCB believes this is because of councils relying on a quick ‘throw and go’ fix – where damaged ground is not removed or repaired before tarmac is used to fill it.
The Daily Mail is campaigning for an end to the pothole plague, which is costing drivers millions of pounds in repairs while putting cyclists at risk of injury or death. JCB has created a £200,000 ‘Pothole Pro’ – a vehicle designed to clear and cut away damaged ground to ensure the cavity will not collapse again.
Ben Rawding, general manager for the Pothole Pro, said of the ‘throw and go’ method: ‘It’s only temporary – the pothole could collapse in anything from two weeks to two years. I know of one council which repaired the same pothole four or five times within the space of a year.’
Many councils claim they do not have enough funding from Whitehall to tackle potholes effectively.
Industry figures published last year showed it would take nine years to clear the pothole backlog, at a cost of £12.64billion – the equivalent of £75.7million for every local authority in England and Wales.
Councils are responsible for fixing pocked roads, while National Highways manages motorways and major A roads.
It is also understood many local authorities use a combination of permanent and temporary methods to repair roads. However, Mr Rawding claimed too many council bosses were reluctant to change their ways.
Potholes are formed when water seeps through cracks in the road and freezes, then thaws.
Water expands once it has turned to ice, leaving a gap in the ground below after it has melted, which eventually collapses under the weight of moving vehicles.
Consumer disputes expert Scott Dixon, who runs thecomplaintsresolver.co.uk, said councils were only adding to their costs by failing to fix potholes permanently.
David Renard, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association said: ‘Councils work tirelessly to repair our local roads, with one pothole being repaired by a council every 19 seconds.’
‘Councils would much prefer to spend money on preventing potholes. However, these challenges are being compounded by soaring inflation, with a shortage of materials like bitumen pushing up repair costs by over 20 per cent.’
‘Shortage of materials’