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Fresh plan to tackle Suffolk’s potholes revealed

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2018

More potholes will be tackled at once as part of the new Suffolk HIghways pothole pilot, according to Mary Evans  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

More potholes will be tackled at once as part of the new Suffolk HIghways pothole pilot, according to Mary Evans Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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 said the new pothole pilot would be a more efficient use of resources Picture: GREGG BROWNMary Evans said the new pothole pilot would be a more efficient use of resources Picture: GREGG BROWN

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

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.

She said data showed more than a third of their maintenance crews’ days were spent travelling, meaning fewer potholes were being 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.

Potholes of 200mm or deeper will be included as part of the new pilot Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPotholes of 200mm or deeper will be included as part of the new pilot Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“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 and 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 top fix fewer potholes and meant it was “not an efficient use of resources” that was “frustrating to the public”.

The pilot is set to get underway next week, and if it proves positive will be rolled out to crews from other depots.

The move comes as part of measures announced by Suffolk Highways during the summer to review all aspects of road maintenance, following a pledge by new council leader Matthew Hicks to make highways a priority.

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 they can actually deliver.

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

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

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