Extra cash and roadworkers to deal with Derbyshire potholes

6 March 2018

Extra investment means more roadworkers have taken to Derbyshire's roads in a drive to repair potholes following recent difficult winter conditions.

We've made giant strides to reduce the backlog of potholes on the 3,500 miles of roads it looks after − reducing numbers by 80% during 2017.

But a spell of exceptionally bad weather recently saw the number of potholes listed for repair rise from 120 in December to 2,000 this week.

Now, we're investing an extra £1m on top of the £2m it has already allocated to tackle potholes. Added to an extra £1m of Government funding which was awarded due to unusually difficult weather, it means £4m will be spent fixing Derbyshire potholes in 2017-2018 − double the amount during the previous 12 months.

We'll also spend nearly £16m patching, surface dressing and resurfacing the county's roads and fixing drains and gullies.

And it is investing an extra £6m into its road maintenance budget to keep on top of highway defects as part of its pledge to keep roads safe and reliable for road users.

Nine more gangs of roadworkers have taken to the roads to support the usual 12 teams to fix potholes and carry out other road repairs. And six extra hotboxes − which keep pothole fixing materials at optimum temperature on site − are also being used. 

Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor Simon Spencer, said:

"Over the last few weeks the weather has been exceptionally bad with constant freezing and thawing and huge amounts of rainfall followed by blankets of heavy snow. This causes the road to crack which is why there has been a significant rise in the number of potholes and carriageway deterioration.

"We've experienced the worst sustained period of winter weather for 10 years − culminating in the arrival of the 'Beast of the East' last week which hit the county hard. We know there are now around 2,000 potholes and there will be many more.

"We're refocusing efforts on our regular inspections again and will also be picking up potholes reported by the public which we will feed into our extra gangs to repair."

Councillor Spencer added:

"We can't control the weather but in recognition of the recent adverse conditions we have responded immediately, making extra cash and roadworkers available specifically for pothole repairs."

"We know that potholes are a great concern to motorists and we have made good progress over recent months in dealing with them. However we are never complacent. We will continue to monitor the situation and use our resources where they are most needed."

Our highways inspectors carry out regular inspections to report potholes and other road defects. Local residents are also encouraged to make pothole reports (opens in a new window).

Once reported potholes - which in line with national guidance must be at least 40mm deep on the road or 20mm on a footpath - are prioritised for repair in line with the risk they pose to road and footpath users.

Factors that determine how quickly a pothole is fixed include location, depth, size and the speed limit of the road. Potholes categorised in most urgent need of repair will be filled within a maximum of 32 hours − usually quicker. Less urgent ones are fixed between five and 28 days after being reported.