Urgent call for review into Bristol pothole repairs due to city’s ‘crumbling’ roads

A car driving around a pothole on the road. PIC: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
A car driving around a pothole on the road. PIC: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Conservative councillors are calling for an urgent review into pothole repairs due to the poor condition of Bristol’s “crumbling” roads. They say far more cash needs to be spent on restoring and resurfacing the city’s road network.

The Tories will seek cross-party support for their plans next week, which include a review into the highways department at Bristol City Council. Another option suggested is charging utility companies a fee for each day that a road is closed, to encourage them to work faster.

As well as potholes, a key issue is the lack of clear paint markings on the roads separating lanes. Councillors will debate the Conservative motion on Tuesday, September 12, when Labour is expected to defend its record on maintaining Bristol’s roads.

Conservative Councillor Steve Smith, representing Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, said: “The problems facing residents and the travelling public go way beyond the perilous physical state of our roads. The government has given local authorities extra cash from its dedicated pothole action fund to help tackle one aspect of what appears to be a deeper malaise.

“But this is clearly not going to be enough. Put simply, official policy and practices need to be overhauled to make more efficient use of resources, and cultivate a willingness to utilise the common-sense input and solutions offered by local people whenever they are consulted upon matters.”

Earlier this year, analysis of government data suggested that the roads in Bristol are the worst in the country for potholes and crumbling surfaces. The car insurance team at Compare the Market assessed figures on road conditions in each council area in England.

Cllr Smith added: “There really needs to be a radical culture change at the top and in the management of our highways. These aren’t strictly party-political issues, but relate to practical problems which are negatively impacting lives city-wide.”