Shropshire Star

'Long, wet winter has stretched our pothole filling resources' - Shropshire roads chief

Recent wet weather has seen a reduction in the rate and speed of pothole repairs in Shropshire since the start of 2024, the council says.


But Shropshire Council says it is still filling in average of 620 a week and making a significant investment in drainage renewals, in order to treat an underlying cause of potholes.

The council says that the situation is being replicated across the country.

Shropshire Council says it repaired 41,629 potholes in 2023, with 50 per cent of these repairs carried out within five days – a 46 per cent increase on the previous year and at no additional cost.

The average cost to the council of repairing a pothole has fallen by 66 per cent in the past four years and is now below the national average.

Councillor Dan Morris, Cabinet member for highways, said: “These figures show the real impact our new approach is having on tackling potholes on roads across the county, and in reducing the cost of doing so.

“We have made excellent progress, and it’s frustrating that the very wet and prolonged winter period has stretched our resources and impacted on our productivity.

"However, we know councils across the country are facing the same situation, and we continue to work hard to repair potholes across the county, with an average of 620 a week currently being tackled.

“Winter is the time when potholes most commonly appear. Whilst there have been fewer freezing temperatures this year, we have experienced significant rain and flooding which is a significant cause of potholes.

“The water table is also very high with water flowing off fields in rural areas, and we’ll be engaging with landowners to mitigate drainage issues.”

The council has introduced what it calls a new ‘mixed economy’ model for highways maintenance which sees work being carried out by the council – using a permanent and interim workforce – plus directly employed local sub-contractors, and by Kier.

The council has been shortlisted for a national award for the impact of this new ‘mixed economy’ approach to maintaining and improving the county’s roads.

Shropshire Council is also carrying out a trial working with parish councils to develop a safe system of local self-delivery pothole repairs.

And the council has made a significant investment in drainage renewals, as their failure gives rise to the conditions that create repeated potholes thereby treating the cause and creating service sustainability.