Hertfordshire’s pothole approach saves £730,000

Hertfordshire County Council’s new inspection approach to tackling potholes has helped the local authority save £730,000.

The council launched the pilot triage inspection service in October 2015 to help its highways contractor, Ringway, to respond to reported defects more effectively and efficiently. So far, this new approach has reduced service costs by around £730,000 – savings that will be reinvested in the maintenance service.

Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said: “The council is responsible for maintaining over 3,000 miles of roads and this new process helps us determine what intervention is required to ensure roads are as safe and well-maintained as possible.

“We are always looking to improve the service for Hertfordshire road users and are confident that this approach allows for repairs to be dealt with appropriately, providing good value for money and making the best use of our resources to provide better long-term results.”

The new triage approach means that when a fault is reported, a qualified inspector visits the location, makes an assessment and arranges for the most appropriate work to be carried out. This work may be to permanently repair an individual pothole or to plan the resurfacing of a wider area of road.

Between 1 December 2015 and 31 May 2016, triage inspectors assessed 7,699 carriageway and footway defects. By autumn 2016, the triage Inspection service will be fully operational with 10 inspectors operating from Hertfordshire’s four highways depots.

The Road Surface Treatments Association has welcomed the approach with chief executive Howard Robinson commenting: “The new triage approach by Hertfordshire County Council is proving to be very effective. The inspectors provide a detailed and knowledgeable assessment of the problem which forwards the selection of the right solution at the right time and at the right cost. Highway teams can plan their response more efficiently and carry out the most appropriate highway repair and maintenance.

“Hertfordshire County Council are to be congratulated on their forward-thinking approach to road maintenance.”

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