Councillor 'horrified' by number of potholes on Newcastle's streets

A pothole on Queen Victoria Road in Newcastle city centre
A pothole on Queen Victoria Road in Newcastle city centre -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

A city councillor fears that the number of potholes on Newcastle's roads means the highway network is not safe.

Liberal Democrat councillor Wendy Taylor said she was 'horrified' by the number of issue's on the city's streets. The Dene and South Gosforth ward member said Newcastle City Council needed to find a more effective way of dealing with the problem.

Highways officers explained that due to a lack of funding, the local authority is effectively managing a "declining asset" in the highways network. The comments were made at Thursday's meeting of the city council's scrutiny committee.

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Referencing a report presented to members, Coun Taylor said: "This says our highways network enables safe and reliable journeys across Newcastle. That is clearly not happening because of the number of potholes across the city.

"It horrifies me when I go around the city. I know staff are doing their best but it really worries me.

"I'm sure we would all like to think the next Government will provide the funding, but if not we have to find a more effective way of dealing with this."

Officers explained that the council had a duty to repair potholes within a given timescale as soon as they are identified, with most repairs carried out within 30 days. It was admitted that filling potholes with tarmacs as a quick fix was "not what we want to do" but was sometimes necessary when potholes needed to be filled quickly.

Speaking at the meeting, a spokesman added: "We're managing a declining asset. We need £9 million per year to maintain the road network but we don't have that amount of funding."

Some Government funding would be coming to the council for pothole repairs following the scrapping of HS2. However, this would still not be enough to cover the cost of maintaining the network.