Severe weather leads to more potholes in Kent

15/01/2014
Highways Reporters

Kent County Council has been using extra highways crews to tackle an increase in potholes following the severe weather and flooding over the holiday period.

They are also tackling a record number of jobs to repair damage caused by gale-force winds. Over the Christmas and New Year period the highways management centre, which coordinates work to keep Kent moving, dealt with more than 1,500 calls about fallen trees.

Many highways staff cancelled or postponed holidays over Christmas as flooding closed roads across the county.

Now they are repairing damage on a priority basis. In a number of cases, work can only begin when the water table levels have subsided. For instance, asphalt pavement and block-paving repairs can only be carried out when water has drained away and the sub-surface is strong enough.

David Brazier, Kent County Council cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We are aware that many people suffered as a result of the severe weather. Our roads and infrastructure received a battering too.

“The extreme wet weather will cause potholes and we have geared up to tackle this, making permanent, first-time fixes as the first choice repair process. On occasion we will make a temporary repair until a permanent one can be programmed in.

“We are committed to repairing these within our service standard of 28 days. Our approach to maintenance, though, has meant at the close of the year, we reduced the average time to fix a pothole down to just 14 days.

“Our drainage systems and footpaths have been damaged where trees have been torn out by their roots.  This work is also being programmed in for repair.”
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