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Pothole hotspots around the county are to be targeted for repair work under new council plans.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13th June Liberal Democrat leader Ian Thorn grilled Wiltshire Council on their solutions to “the record number of potholes in Wiltshire”. In January Wiltshire had 3,623 potholes reported to the council which is a record number.
Cabinet member for transport Caroline Thomas said in response to cllr Thorn, “We have reacted to this increased demand by deploying additional resources to carry out repair works.”
Wiltshire Council was awarded £22.9m from the government’s highways maintenance fund for 2023/24 to pay for a range of highways maintenance and improvement programmes, including resurfacing, new road markings, replacing traffic signs and signals and filling potholes.
Cllr Thomas added, “Looking at this specifically at resurfacing, this will enable carriageways that are beyond their service life to be repaired. We are also undertaking a significant program of surface dressing, this process arrests deterioration and has a net effect of reducing the future propagation of potholes.
“We have also received an additional £3.6M from the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) pothole fund. This funding will be used to target areas that have been identified as pothole ‘hotspots’. To do this, we are creating heat maps of the areas with the most reported pothole problems and using this data to identify the roads and local pothole hotspots in most need.”
However, cllr Thorn then asked, “I’m just wondering what the time scale is so that we can see where the hot spots are and when the potholes are going to be fixed.”
Cllr Thomas said in response, “In terms of the actual dates our preference clearly is to get going on this before the winter season kicks in. We are completing analysis now and we’ll be instructing the contractors shortly and we’ll be informing area boards where their hot spots are that we are planning to fix but I can’t give you exact dates.”
Cllr Thorn then asked if the council is also budgeting for the increase in potholes that will come with more temperature extremes caused by climate change.
Cllr Thomas replied, “The short answer is that our budget for road maintenance comes from the DfT and we know they are looking at the impact of climate change and extreme conditions and we are driven by the by the budgets there.”