Pothole review preaches prevention

Pothole prevention is now officially better than reactive maintenance according to a government review.

Councils across England have now been given advice on the pothole problem following the review commissioned by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The Pothole Review – part of the Coalition Government’s £6m Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme – looks at how best to fix potholes once they have formed but also how to prevent them from appearing in the first place.

The recommendations for Central Government, local highway authorities and the highways sector fall into three main themes:

· Prevention is better than cure – intervening at the right time will reduce the amount of potholes forming and prevent bigger problems later.

· Right First Time – do it once and get it right, rather than face continuous bills.

· Clarity for the public – local highway authorities need to communicate to the public what is being done and how it is being done.

Baker said: “We all know the misery that potholes can cause to highway users and local communities and the recent series of harsh winters has only served to intensify the situation.

“We’ve given £3 billion to councils for road maintenance over the next four years but money can only go so far and the old adage rings true: prevention is indeed better than cure.

“I would urge all those involved with highways maintenance, including councillors, chief executives, local highway practitioners, those in the utility sector and contractors to adopt the approaches set out in this report, not only to make real cost savings but also to provide a high quality service that both the road user and local residents deserve.”

Matthew Lugg, President of the Association of Directors of Economy, Environment, Planning and Transport, who led the Pothole Review, said: “This Review has focused on key principles and strategies to reduce potholes in the future.

“There are a number of key recommendations, which when implemented by the highway sector will lead to more effective outcomes for the highway users and the economy.

“I would encourage all parties to take on board the recommendations. I am thankful for the help and assistance that was provided by colleagues from both the public and private sector including key stakeholder organisations.”

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