Wiltshire Publications

Wiltshire’s pothole ‘nightmare’ not being fixed says councillor

By Local Democracy Reporter Jude Holden

Wiltshire Council’s efforts are not solving the pothole ‘nightmare’ across the county, says Liberal Democrat councillor, Ruth Hopkinson.

Cllr Hopkinson, who represents Corsham said, “Wiltshire Council Highways have a handbook that gives you the dimensions of a pothole before it is considered to be a pothole.

“Basically, you could grow spuds in them before they get counted as a pothole. To be fair to the council there is work being done to get these fixed, but the backlog is so huge. They are trying to roll a stone uphill, a hill with potholes in it.

“What’s happening to the potholes is we have parish stewards who go to each parish, and they are supposed to do the minor works like filling up minor potholes.

“They diligently do it, but it’s only one man with a tub of tarmac – they don’t last. In a short time, it breaks down around the edges.”

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for transport, Caroline Thomas said, “There has been an increase in the number of potholes across the country, not just in Wiltshire.

“The combination of a long dry summer followed by periods of very wet and then freezing conditions, has seen road surfaces deteriorate, in some cases very quickly.

“Unfortunately, the roads throughout Wiltshire have been impacted by this.

“We have recently been awarded an additional £3.6m from the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Pothole Fund and are currently looking at which works can be scheduled to undertake the repairs based on priorities.

“The extra funding will support the hard work undertaken this winter to tackle the huge increase in potholes across the county.

“In January, we saw a four-fold increase in pothole reports compared with December and over the 22/23 financial year, spent 50% more on repairs than budgeted, based on past experience.

“We would advise those concerned to please report highway defects and potholes to us using MyWilts – either through our website or by using the smartphone app.”