£8m pothole blitz for Staffordshire's roads after washout winter

Almost £8 million is set to be invested in repairing potholes more quickly and preparing for more extreme weather. Staffordshire County Council's Post-Winter Highways Recovery Plan was announced by senior county councillors earlier this month.

And now further details have come forward about how highway crews will be repairing roads and drainage systems over the next year, following one the wettest and stormiest winters on record.

Councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member for strategic highways, said: “Our crews did an excellent job last year to improve our roads, but after coming through one of the wettest winters on record, that fantastic progress has quite literally been washed away.

“After speaking with crews and listening to our residents, we have put together a focused response that sets out how we will get back on top of the defects. This plan is our commitment to making our roads better for our residents, and our crews will be pulling out all the stops to repair as many pothole and drainage issues as they can, and reduce the amount of reported defects in our systems.

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“Potholes and poor drainage are a nuisance, and we know that when our residents report issues, they want them dealt with quickly. By focusing our efforts in these two areas in particular, we can really make a visible difference and create improved journeys for everyone living and working in our county.”

The plan will see the authority investing almost £8 million in repairing potholes and reducing the amount of defects, as well as improving drainage and carrying out work to prepare for more extreme weather events in the future, and will enable crews to use technology including the JCB Pothole Pro, Roadmaster and Thermal Road Repairs to repair defects quickly and efficiently. The money is in addition to £53 million already earmarked for major projects, road improvements and general maintenance in the current financial year.

But Councillor Gillian Pardesi, speaking at this month's full county council meeting, said: "My understanding is our individual budgets within our divisions have been reduced from £30,000 to £20,000. Assuming nobody in this chamber is a climate change denier, this is a plea to increase our budgets within our divisions.

"If we acknowledge we are getting more rain, more flooding and it's causing more issues with damage to our roads and drains, we really need to consider additional funding to take that into account. "

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