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A RECORD number of potholes were reported to Wiltshire Council last month.
In January, 3,623 potholes were reported, which is almost four times the number reported in December.
The hot and dry summer of 2022, combined with the very wet and then cold weather experienced in the county so far this winter, has created the ideal conditions for potholes to form.
Along with the usual pothole teams, which respond to issues based on customer reports, the council has enlisted its 18 parish stewards – one for each community area in Wiltshire – to focus solely on fixing potholes in their area.
Cllr Caroline Thomas, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for transport said, “We have received a record number of 3,623 pothole reports through our MyWilts reporting system this January. This compares with 924 reports in December and 677 reports in November, which illustrates the scale of the problem we’re dealing with across over 2,500 miles of roads in Wiltshire.
“But we’re doing all we can to fix them and have ensured that filling potholes is the focus of all 18 of our parish stewards around the county, to support the usual pothole teams.
“Our parish stewards are key resources. During the recent cold snap, many drove gritters to help keep our highways safe and before that, they were helping with local flooding. But as the wet and cold weather has subsided for now, they have moved back to pothole-filling. Of course, we recognise some deeper potholes require more urgent attention than others, so we’re prioritising filling these in the first instance.
“To fill a pothole, the parish stewards clear the hole of debris and then fill it with a quick-drying filler, before using tools to smooth the road surface.
“Our priority is always to fill potholes to make them safe. However, in doing this, at times, we appreciate that some temporary repairs may not be as good as resurfacing the road.
“Nonetheless, depending on conditions, these repairs can last many years and, importantly, the approach means our stewards can fill up to 100 each week.”
If people see a pothole on Wiltshire’s roads, they should report it using the MyWilts reporting system – either through the MyWilts smartphone app for Apple or Android devices, or online here – https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts-online-reporting