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Help us fill potholes says county council
EMERGENCY measures to repair Oxfordshire’s crumbling roads were announced last night.
Transport bosses are pouring in £250,000 and almost doubling staff numbers to sort out the county’s potholes.
The measures will see an extra 4,000 potholes filled this spring.
County council bosses have also launched a new way for motorists to report potholes by uploading photos to its website.
Transport cabinet member Rodney Rose said: “We know that Oxfordshire residents hate to see potholes on our roads, and so do we.
“That’s why, now the winter months are nearly behind us, we’re pulling out the stops to get repairs done as fast as we can, wherever they occur.
“We’re appealing to the public to help us do this.
“The warmer weather means potholes aren’t appearing as quickly and in such high numbers, so it’s an opportunity to reverse the tide.
“We’re encouraging the public to report as much as they can to us, so we can get as much work done as possible. We don’t have an end date as such – it will be a case of scaling back our resources when we think we’re in a position to do so.”
The announcement comes after months of wintry weather and flooding in the county.
Mr Rose added: “We have a good track record on repairing potholes, in fact the vast majority are already repaired within 28 days and the most severe ones are sorted within two hours. However, we recognise we can always do better, particularly in rural areas which is why we are asking residents to report potholes.”
The news has been welcomed by drivers in the city, including taxi driver Colin Dobson.
The 46-year-old said: “The extreme weather we have had recently means potholes are popping up all over the place, so any extra money for repairs is welcome.
“I will have to look at the new website, but if it’s something which allows you to see whether potholes have already been reported, then it’s a good thing.”
Kennington parish councillor Roger Gelder, who complained last month about pothole problems in his street Poplar Grove, said he also welcomed the funding and new website.
He said: “Maybe they can sort out the rest of the street now. They’ve done some of it, maybe a couple of hundred metres.
“I very much welcome the increased expenditure. We have a lot of cyclists who travel through Kennington and I’ve heard of accidents.”
The council, which has already spent £5m on fixing road defects since April last year, has recruited another nine teams of repair workers to fill potholes across the county, a total of 36 extra staff.
It will repair 3,000 potholes a month throughout the spring, which is roughly double the number the council would normally repair in the same period.
In 2008/09, Oxfordshire County Council repaired 8,902 potholes, but by 2011/12 that number had doubled.
When asked if the quality of repairs had changed over the past few years, council spokesman Owen Morton said he was unable to check what materials were used by the council five years ago.
But he added: “I can certainly confirm the county council always uses and has always used the best available materials to carry out repairs – the same that are used up and down the country.”
How to report problems
VISIT the council’s website at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/report
You will need to enter an address, locate the area on a map, enter details of the problem and confirm your report.
The website also provides details of potholes already reported, updates on reported problems and the number of potholes fixed in the past week.
If you don’t have access to a computer, contact the council on
0845 310 11 11.