Almost 6,000 potholes have been repaired in a 12-month blitz on Stoke-on-Trent’s crumbling roads.
The multi-million pound investment means the backlog of pothole repairs has also been reduced from 2,296 last January to 643 yesterday.
And with fewer vehicles on the roads during the coronavirus pandemic there have been fewer complaints lodged with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Seventy miles of roads have also been resurfaced in the past 12 months. These include Basford roundabout, Commerce Street, the City Waterside estate, Weston Coyney Road, Sutherland Road, Westport Road, Federation Road, Brownhills Road, Trubshaw Cross roundabout and Station Road.
Latest figures show the council has carried out 10,031 road and pavement repairs in the past 12 months. This includes 5,859 pothole jobs.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “This is one of the largest-ever sustained investments by the council in the road network. Having this in place means we have a clear plan of the work we will carry out, whereas in the past the available money had always fluctuated from one year to the next. Once we get into spring and the weather improves we will really be able to start pushing ahead with the work again.
“Hopefully one day we get to zero potholes, but that is a bit of a dream. The reality is that for every pothole we fix, there’s probably another one opening up somewhere. But the fact is, we are down to the lowest-ever pothole numbers.
“Last year we announced one of the biggest-ever sustained investments in the city’s road network, with £35 million being spent up to 2024 to resurface and repair roads and pavements and upgrade traffic signals with new technologies.”
The city’s roads have also been repaired with JCB’s new PotholePro machine as part of a technology trial. The machine can be leased by councils at a cost of £600-a-day.
Mr Jellyman added: “We will look to see if it makes economic sense to get one or lease one, but there’ll have to be a business case for it. I’d say we’re about 18 months away from that.”
The opposition Labour group has welcomed the potholes that have been filled in.
Jane Ashworth said: “There are still many more that need filling in but won’t be. Holes have to be an inch deep and a danger to traffic before they can be filled in. In Burslem, this means the holes on Newport Lane won’t be filled in until they get much worse.”
The 2020/21 road resurfacing programme has resumed this week following the Christmas break and the recent bad weather. Work is taking place on Bell Avenue, in Longton; Crestway Road, in Baddeley Green, and Cutts Street, in Hanley.