Monday, 6 June 2016

Council redefines potholes to save money on repairs . . .

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Council redefines potholes to save money on repairs

Cited at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/council-spending/12188547/Council-redefines-potholes-to-save-money-on-repairs.html

Perth and Kinross council accused of storing up problems for motorists and cyclists after deciding it will only fix potholes nearly two and a half inches deep



A Scottish local authority has changed its definition of a pothole so that it can save money by not repairing so many.

The SNP-controlled Perth and Kinross Council has decided that potholes now have to be at least 60mm deep, or nearly two and a half inches, before it will consider filling them. The previous minimum depth set by the council was 40mm.

Last month, officials at the cash-strapped council admitted that the road network had been severely affected by potholes caused by prolonged wet weather and the subsequent freezing temperatures and thaws.

But when setting its budget for 2016/17 the local authority agreed not to reinstate the road surface until a hole reaches a depth of 60mm in a bid to save £120,000 a year.


The decision has caused angered local residents who point out that unrepaired potholes will only deteriorate, causing a bigger hazard for motorists and cyclists and will eventually have to be dealt with.

Willie Roberston, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: “As a cyclist I know that damaged road drains are a real danger. Often you can't avoid them because of traffic passing you.

"I am also aware of a few people locally who have damaged their cars on potholes recently. I wonder what the cost will ultimately be when people claim for compensation from the council for the cost of repairing their vehicles."

A recent report revealed that Scottish councils spent around £1,400 a day on pothole compensation claims, with Perth and Kinross Council paying out more than £80,000 over a five-year period.

A spokesman for the RAC said the move was a false economy, adding: “The larger a pothole becomes, the greater risk it represents to road users and the more costly it becomes to repair.

“Hitting a large pothole has the potential to cause serious problems, from damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels to broken suspension. In the worst cases, a pothole could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.

"While in the short term the council might save money by repairing only larger potholes, it is saving up an expensive problem for further down the line."

Robert Noble, a motorist who lives in Crieff, west of Perth, said that when he moved to the area in 1971 the roads were maintained to a high standard but there now appeared to be a “could not care less” attitude.

A spokesman for the council said: "To ensure safety, we will continue to undertake repairs in inherently dangerous circumstances as part of a risk assessment approach."





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