Potholes on county roads now at 6,600

A council which cleared its backlog of road repairs is facing fresh repairs.

Last June, officials at Northumberland County Council said all potholes on local roads had been repaired following extensive work by a dedicated team.

But now, following a Freedom of Information request, it has been revealed that there are already another 6,600 potholes in need of repairs on Northumberland’s roads.

Council leader Grant Davey told the News Post Leader last year, how the authority was to spend £600,000 to repair roads across the county in order to help clear the backlog of potholes which stood at an estimated 12,200 at the time.

The area was awarded £2.7m from the ‘weather repair fund’ in March, followed by a further £2.9m from the Department for Transport.

And last month the local authority received a slice of a £91m road maintenance fund from the government over the next six years.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council, said: “As with many local authorities, Northumberland has seen its road network deteriorate over the past few years, mainly due to long-term under investment, exacerbated by a series of severe weather events.

“Northumberland is one of the country’s largest counties with over 3,200 miles of carriageway.

“The council recognises the importance of maintaining this network and has, over the past two years, invested heavily in additional resources to help tackle the issue.

“During this time we have repaired over 40,000 potholes and recently topped the poll in the ‘most improved county council’ category in the Highways and Transportation public satisfaction survey 2014.

“We are currently carrying out more work on the county’s highways than has been seen for many years.

“The council is pleased that the government has recognised a funding gap and recently announced funding will provide a welcome boost to the roads budget in 2015-16.”