Thousands of potholes across the region will be repaired by Highways England in the next few weeks following damaged caused by the Beast from the East.
The company says urgent repairs are needed on road surfaces damaged by the recent severe weather and the eastern area of the country has been particularly badly affected.
During cold temperatures water, which seeps below the road surface, freezes and expands putting pressure on the road surface. When the ice melts and contracts the pressure decreases, and this repeated process can cause the road surface to weaken. Traffic on the road can then cause the road surface to deteriorate which is why potholes are more frequent during the winter months.
Highways England’s regional operations director, Martin Fellows, said: “Safety runs through everything we do at Highways England, and keeping our road network in a good, safe condition is our top priority.
“During spring 2018 we will work with our maintenance partners, investing money to bring the east region network to a better standard for ongoing maintenance.
“Many roads in the East of England were built in the 1970s and the time is coming where we need to comprehensively renew them. We are acting in the immediate term to restore recurrent problem areas and in the longer-term will need to carry out permanent improvements.”
The number of potholes in the east has increased by a quarter since 2015, from 4,508 to 5,645. While nationally 400 potholes are repaired each month in winter, in the east that number is more than 1,500.
Highways England has already completed resurfacing on the A120 in Essex, between Ramsey and Horsley Cross, on the A11 in Norfolk, between Attleborough and Thickthorn northbound. Operatives from contractor Kier will have completed further repairs at areas including:
The M11 junctions 7 (Harlow) to 8 (Stansted Airport);
The A47 between Guyhirn and Wisbech, and around Sutton;
The A11 in Norfolk between Attleborough and Thickthorn southbound;
Repairing 36 potholes on the A12, and a further 30 between junctions 27 and 26;
Laying down 220 tonnes of filling material on potholes on the A1 between Biggleswade and Langford, and;
Laying down 390 tonnes of filling material on potholes on the A428 between Caxton Gibbet and Hardwick.
Highways England has already repaired thousands of potholes on the region’s roads, including laying over 6,800 tonnes of filling material to cover a distance of 35 square miles, including resurfacing around 10 miles of road.
Over the next six week further pothole will be completed at other locations across the region, including:
The M1 southbound between junctions 10 (Luton) and 8 (Hemel Hempstead), and various slip roads;
The M11 between junctions 6 (M26) and 9 (A11), and southbound passing Cambridge;
The A1(M) between junctions 9 (Letchworth) and 10 (Radwell)
The A1 at Little Paxton;
The A5 at Little Brickhill, and with the A421;
The A11 at Wymondham;
The A12 at Witham, at Boreham, between junctions 24 and 25, between junctions 20b and 22 and 26 and 27 northbound, and various slip roads;
The A14 at Brampton Hut, at Spaldwick, and at Risby;
The A47 between Redmoor and Elm, around Guyhirn Bank, at Soke Parkway, at Oversley Lodge, and at Honningham.
The A120 at Pellens Corner, at Wix, and at Takeley, and;
The A414 in both directions.
Repairs will be done using various methods to ensure they are completed quickly while causing minimal disruption for drivers. Around 1,000 potholes are repaired a month using cold filling material, while around seven tonnes of hot filling material are used nightly, covering around 60 square metres.
Highways England is delivering the Government’s £15 billion road investment strategy between 2015 and 2020. This includes £7.593 billion on modernising and enhancing the network and £3.658 billion on renewals and maintenance.
Members of the public can report any issues on Highways England road network by emailing email@example.com or calling our 24 hour Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.