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'I’ve never known it so bad': Pothole busters tackling huge Shropshire backlog

By Dominic Robertson | Transport | Published:

Special lorries are being sent out to tackle the county's potholes, as a councillor said he was determined to fix Shropshire's roads having "never known things to be so bad".

With the Roadmaster vehicles at the Longden Road depot in Shrewsbury are John Link, from Kier, Councillor Steve Davenport and Lucy Bailey and Gavin Andrew, from Kier

Two special lorries are now being used in an effort to repair the damage done to the county's roads over the winter.

The council said its new highways contractor Kier is working "flat-out" to clear the backlog of potholes.

To make headway in its effort, the company currently has 35 teams treating and repairing potholes across the county – supported by eight traffic management teams, who control traffic while work is carried out.

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, expressed his frustration at the state of the roads and said the authority is determined to bring them up to scratch.

He said: "Believe it or not, I hate potholes as much as anyone and share people’s anger and frustration.

"I’ve never known things to be so bad, and many of our roads have been in a terrible state over the past few months following the severe winter weather.

"But we’re determined to sort things as soon as we can and, working with Kier, we’re working flat out to treat the exceptionally high number of potholes that have appeared this year.

"Kier have high numbers of people out across the county every day, repairing hundreds of potholes.

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“And the arrival of the Roadmasters will make a huge difference and help us to repair potholes more quickly, and with a better quality of repair.

“We’re confident that we’ll soon have tackled the backlog of potholes – but people can still help us by reporting any that they come across.”

The newly-refurbished Roadmaster vehicles are currently in the Shrewsbury area but will be used across the county in the coming days and weeks.

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The vehicles use compressed air to blow water or dirt out of a pothole that needs repairing and then fill it with hot bitumen and chippings.

The repair is compacted by a roller and sealed with a layer of surface dressing – meaning a better quality of repair.

Councillor Davenport said that since April 5 Kier has carried out a total of 508 permanent repair ‘jobs’ across the county.

A ‘job’ generally involves treating and repairing a large number of potholes.

This includes 241 emergency jobs. Councillor Davenport said that at this time of year it expects 60 to 100 over the same period.

In the past two weeks Kier has used 20 tonnes of pothole repair material to make potholes safe. And in just four days the company has used 160 tonnes of hot rolled asphalt to make permanent first-time fixes.

People can report potholes at shropshire.gov.uk/potholes or by calling 0345 678 9006.

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