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Have your say on Suffolk’s pothole problem maintenance


Residents in Suffolk are being invited to give their views on a new plan that sets the standards that Suffolk Highways will meet for reactive maintenance.

Suffolk Highways has a duty to maintain the public highway to enable the safe passage of its users. The new Highways Maintenance Operational Plan (HMOP) introduces a risk-based approach to maintaining the roads across Suffolk.

Under the new HMOP, which has been trialled since May 2016, the prioritisation of any road defect (such as a ‘pothole’) will depend on the level of risk that it poses to all road users. For example, a deep 400mm diameter defect on an A-road with a 60mph speed limit presents a greater risk than that posed by a similar sized defect in a residential cul-de-sac.

As it is not possible for work to be carried out everywhere at the same time, priority will now be given to busier roads and footways, where there is a greater chance of the defect causing a problem.

The new plan will also see Suffolk Highways being more proactive, for example in identifying defects, such as potholes, when they are smaller. Under the new HMOP, they will be tackled at an earlier stage than might previously have happened to prevent them getting worse.

If smaller defects are in the same location as higher priority defects, they are now more likely to be treated at the same time. If it is not possible to repair these on the first visit, defects in the same location will be repaired in a single return visit. In time, with earlier identification and repair, smaller defects will not have the opportunity to become larger defect.

Cllr James Finch, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The new Highways Operational Plan will ensure the county’s busiest roads are maintained to the best possible standard while also keeping our quieter roads safe.

“Over time, with the earlier identification and repair of smaller defects, there should be less high priority defects, therefore reducing risk and improving safety on Suffolk’s roads.”

The public engagement finishes on Friday, November 18. To find out more about the new HMOP and to give feedback visit https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/consultations-petitions-and-elections/consultations/highway-maintenance-operational-plan/

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