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A statement from the chair and vice-chair of Highways and Transport regarding potholes

16 January 2023

Cllr Alex Beckett and Cllr Neil Shailer, chair and vice-chair of Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “In the winter a lot more road defects and potholes form, this is being seen across the country. This is due to wet and freezing weather causing those worn areas of road and pavement surfaces to break up.

“We know how important our roads are which is why we carry out regular inspections of our roads, bridges, cycleways and footpaths. Defects identified and reported to us are repaired as quickly as possible.

“We have increased the number of gangs dealing with both temporary and permanent fixes and we are using our two dragon patchers.

“Our dedicated highway inspectors are working hard to keep the roads safe, but we can't be everywhere at all times, which is why we encourage the public to report any potholes or highway faults using our online tool. It's easy to use and flags any faults which have not yet been marked. We would rather have multiple reports of the same fault, than none at all -

“After the cold spell at the end of last year, it can take time for damage in the road to go on and form into potholes. We’d urge drivers to be vigilant over the next few weeks and report any faults to us.”

Pothole facts:

  • We fixed more than 45,000 last year. Last week our dragon patchers repaired 700 defects in three days
  • In general terms, if a pothole is large and deep, we will fix it within five days. If it is smaller and less of a hazard, we will fix it within 21 days
  • We mark up the potholes in different ways, those repaired in five days are not marked as our repair is immediate, yellow means we will repair it in 21 days. We always aim to fix potholes within five and 21 days
  • We aim to fix emergency faults as soon as possible, always within five days
  • We always aim to repair potholes with a permanent fix first time, however, in the winter this can be difficult due to the weather and numbers of potholes. At this time of year, we sometimes have to make temporary fixes to keep people safe, to keep up with the numbers and because road conditions are too wet for permanent repairs. Permanent fixes will then be programmed in and delivered when the weather allows
  • The total amount of money we have specifically to fix potholes is £2.2m – this is part of a larger highway maintenance budget (which includes planned maintenance, patching, drain clearing etc) which is around £30million per year for maintenance of 4,500km of road. The average cost of fixing a pothole is £42.