Multi-million pound cost of fixing county’s potholes is revealed


- Credit: Archant

The cost of repairing potholes in the county has more than doubled over the last three years – to some £6 million, new figures have revealed.

Between 2015 and 2016, £6,364,495 was spent repairing and patching Cambridgeshire’s potholes and surface dressing works, compared to £5,313,977 spent in 2014/15, and £3,177,008 spent on the work during 2013/14.

The figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, look to be on the increase because of the number of potholes in the county, with 28,773 found in 2015 compared to 38,123 in 2016.

Potholes are depressions in the road surface, caused when ground water gets in under the tarmac. Coupled with vehicles putting pressure on the weakened surface, they cave in, sometimes leaving dangerous holes.

According to Cambridgeshire County Council, pothole hotspots are currently in Cambridge, with places such as Hills Road, Mill Road and Newmarket Road racking up more repairs than anywhere else.

But with the cost of repairing potholes getting higher, the council hopes to use new initiatives to help save money where it can.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We have worked with our contractor Skanska to look at new initiatives and ways of saving money. For example the use of the ‘dragon patcher’ which can repair potholes much quicker and more efficiently.

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“We have also used new materials such as those that reduce sound noise in residential areas.

“In addition, we have brought in new policies to prioritise our work and reduce the times we need to go back and make a repair, as well as working with utilities to plan roadworks more efficiently to reduce delays to road users.”

The spokesman added that, in February, councillors had agreed to spend an additional

£2.1million in the year ahead fixing and patching the county’s potholes, with the government topping up the sum with an extra £1.15million from the national pothole action fund.