Most potholes left unrepaired
March 14, 2011
Less than 40 per cent of potholes reported on a website aimed at naming and shaming shoddy roads have been repaired in the last four years, according to the site’s statistics.
Website fillthathole.org.uk ranks Wokingham 56 out of 213 authorities listed in order of the percentage of potholes which have been repaired after being reported to the site.
The site, run by national cycling organisation CTC, passes information left by visitors to the relevant local authority.
Fed up motorists are turning to websites like FillThatHole and fixmystreet.com to vent their frustration, with several drivers a day logging on to report problems in Wokingham.
One user of FixMyStreet reported coming across “huge potholes” in Betchworth Avenue, Lower Earley, on Thursday, March 3.
The post said: “There are some very deep potholes on both sides of the road just before the mini-roundabout with Wilderness Road, very dangerous as you turn the corner from Wilderness Road into Betchworth Avenue, please fill asap!”
Another motorists noted a “very deep pothole” in Mill Lane, Sindlesham, on the same day, which was said to be dangerous and very difficult to avoid, particularly at night.
Another user reported Twyford Road, Wokingham, where multiple gaps were spotted in the road, on Wednesday, February 23.
Wokingham Borough Council is doubling its highways maintenance budget from £1.25 million in 2010/11 to £2.5 million this year, although this cash is not specifically earmarked for pothole repair.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and corporate affairs, said: “We generally do not operate a specific budget for potholes because it’s very difficult to predict how many you are going to have or whether they will be deep or shallow. It all depends on the weather.
“What we do is pay out of the revenue budget so they are all generally covered by that. If one year we have the need to spend £10,000 then we will, if another year it’s £300,000 then it’s £300,000.”
FillThatHole suggests 37 per cent of the 202 potholes which have been reported in Wokingham since the site was launched in 2007 have been reported as fixed, with 125 open reports remaining.
Cllr Baker said officers were dispatched to look at sites when potholes were reported and serious incidents could be repaired within four to six hours.
He also said it was important motorists and other road users reported incidents directly to the council.
He said: “We haven’t got any more potholes than you would expect normally. We do encourage our residents to go on to our website and report them there. There’s a simple form to fill in and report any new potholes.
“With 1,700 roads we cannot be out there inspecting them all the time so we do rely on that feedback.”