Pothole Potholes Pot Hole

Regent Road may have caused major disruption in Salford over recent months, but potholes are an ongoing battle for residents and commuters alike.

Philip Hammond announced in last year’s budget that £420 million would be set aside to fix the country’s potholes. Since then, highway maintenance budgets have increased from £20.6 million to £24.5 million a year. But this figure is a drop in the ocean, as it has been estimated that almost £10 billion will be needed to solve the nationwide issue.

Last year councils filled 330,000 potholes across the UK, with the number of potholes filled in Salford rising from 2,647 in 2016 to 3,146 in 2018.

Councils usually use a “patch and mend” method, which is a temporary fix that fills and smooths off potholes. Eventually, roads patched this way will “fail,” leading to more potholes in the future.

Adam Higson, Senior Communications Officer for Salford City Council, said: “Where possible we undertake a “one pass permanent repair” rather than temporarily filling in holes so they can be permanently repaired later. The only exception would be where there is a serious risk to network safety and delays.”

Around 1270 roads have been resurfaced across Salford since 2011.

Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), Rick Green, said: “There are glimmers of hope, but while overall highway maintenance budgets are up, there is still a big discrepancy between the haves and have nots.”

The AIA’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey found also showed a North-South divide, with councils in the North receiving as little as a third of the funding southern councils receive.



ALARM 2018 also found that almost 82% of road user compensation claims were due to pothole damage, an issue that has gripped the nation’s “ageing local road network.”

Since motorists are in a car, the suspension can absorb most of the impact from potholes. Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK, said: “Cyclists, like pedestrians, suffer particularly badly from poor road maintenance, as the outcome is far more likely to involve personal injury.”

Injuries aren’t just limited to cyclists. One Salford resident suffered bruised ribs when driving along Rossall Way by Salford Precinct when his car “juddered” over the potholes.

He said: “Not once have I ever seen Salford City Council fixing a pothole in the road. Not once. I’ve seen them resurfacing a road, but I’ve never seen them actually fix a pothole.”

To report a pothole in your area visit the Salford City Council website.


Image credit: Emma-Rose Logan

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