Council to focus on fixing 'high risk' potholes on Telford's roads

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Politics | Published:

Potholes on Telford's quieter roads could wait longer for repairs as the council seeks to prioritise busy, high-risk routes.

Telford & Wrekin Council says it will now concentrate on fixing potholes on busy and fast roads over those on less busy routes in the borough.

A report being considered by the authority's cabinet next week outlines how the current highways policy does not prioritise the fixing of one pothole over another.

It states: "There is currently no distinction between a 40mm pothole on a highly-trafficked, high-speed road and a 40mm pothole on a rural lane – both currently have to be repaired within the same timescales even though it is clear that there is higher risk to road users on the high speed road."

Under the new policy the council will focus on fixing potholes it deems high risk before others.

The cabinet report states: "By adopting a risk-based approach the safety inspector determines the implications of all defects and sets an appropriate repair timescale. As a result higher risk repairs can be completed quickly and, where risk analysis allows, low risk reactive repairs may, where appropriate due to their low risk status, be able to become part of a planned programme of highway capital works that is due to be undertaken."

The report says there will be no change to the speed with which teams go out to assess the severity of a pothole.

It states: "By allowing inspectors to use their professional expertise and judgement to assess defects, repair decisions can be based on the actual risk that the defect presents as well as looking at the impact of any defect on the wider ‘liveability agenda’. This approach means that resources can be directed in a timely manner where they are most needed in order to manage that risk."



Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies said the authority had been recognised for its work on the borough's roads, and the new policy would see it focus on "risk management".

He said: “The council is investing £26m over the next three years on maintaining our roads, footpaths and other assets through the Pride In Our Community initiative.

“We were recently voted second out of 104 local authorities for overall public satisfaction with highways and transport in the National Highways and Transport Survey.

“This new code of practice encourages the principle of taking a risk management approach to maintaining local highways. It means that the response to managing highway defects or issues can be based on factors relevant to the local area.

“We are aware that this winter’s bad weather is likely to increase the amount of potholes across the borough so we would encourage people to report any that they see so we can schedule work to get them fixed.”

In 2012/13 in Telford & Wrekin there were 7,012 potholes inspected and completed. Last year the figure had fallen to 3,397.


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