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Highways bosses pledge to increase rate of pothole repairs in Suffolk

By Jason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter

Potholes. (4921651)
Potholes. (4921651)

More potholes on Suffolk’s roads are set to be repaired as part of a fresh purge of highways problems, according to roads chiefs.

Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, unveiled plans for a new pilot scheme, which aims to tackle more potholes at once, as well as cut the amount of temporary fixes.

A report prepared for next week’s full council meeting said that the reliance on temporary fixes as a result of a harsh winter coupled with the sheer number of potholes reported meant the most serious ones had to be prioritised, and left crews returning multiple times to repair others nearby.

Data showed more than a third of their maintenance crews’ days were spent travelling, meaning fewer potholes were fixed.

The new pilot, which will initially only operate from the Ipswich depot this winter, will mean more potholes in a single area will be repaired together, while potholes of 200mm across will be included.

“We have looked at how we cover the potholes best, and one of the complaints was they were driving over potholes to get to potholes,” she said.

“The idea is we try to go on to do more work as a first repair, so we are not going backwards and forwards.”

Mrs Evans said the current approach meant teams were able to fix fewer potholes and it was “not an efficient use of resources”.

If the pilot proves positive, it will be rolled out to crews from other depots.

Jack Owen, Labour spokesman for highways, said: “Finally, this council has pledged to act on potholes, although we won’t hold our breath on whether it can actually deliver.

“The amount of money wasted on multiple visits to the same place will have been enormous.

“Given the troubles of last winter, we want the administration to redouble its efforts to get as many potholes filled, before the weather turns bad.”


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