City battles to beat the potholes


After one of the wettest winters on record efforts are continuing across Plymouth to target and repair thousands of potholes caused by the severe conditions.

Like councils across the country, Plymouth is grappling with an unprecedented number of repairs following decades of underinvestment in the country’s road network and some of the worst weather conditions in history.

The number of road defects being reported in the city is around three times higher than normal for this time of year and Amey, Plymouth City Council’s highways contractor, is battling against a backlog of around 6,500 potholes currently awaiting repair.

Extra funding has been made available by the Council to help tackle the problem and additional road crews and resources have been bought in to repair as many defects as possible over recent months.

Ten crews have been working during the day and at night (to minimise disruption) to carry out 3,577 individual pothole repairs, as well as large scale patching work on around a quarter of Plymouth’s roads.

Their first priority has been to repair roads on the city’s strategic network, followed by defects on secondary routes and those reported by concerned members of the public.

Repairs have also been carried out on foreshore structures, where the priority has been to keep businesses open, especially in the Barbican area of the city. More than 70 major flooding incidents were managed during the winter and spring, along with over 400 customer flooding reports.

“We appreciate that residents are feeling frustrated about the current state of the roads,” said Paul Anderson, Account Manager for Amey. “However, every action is being taken to resolve as many problems as possible. The level of damage caused by the winter storms is at an unprecedented level and we are dealing with the situation as quickly as possible.”

Alongside these ongoing repairs, work will soon get under way on this year’s full resurfacing programme, which – thanks to funding being brought forward by the Council and extra funding recently announced by Government – will be the most extensive to date.

Adrian Trim, the Council’s Head of Living Streets and Network Management, said: “We made a commitment, against the national trend, to invest heavily over the next 10 years to improve the roads, and this is the next step. In the meantime, we’re making as many permanent repairs as possible to the worst individual potholes and road defects.

“After a severe winter we want to take every step to make sure the roads are in a good state of repair – it is vitally important to the prosperity of Plymouth, it’s the right thing to do and this year will see this continue.”

To report a road defect fill in our online form, call 01752 668000 or emailplymouth.watchman@amey.co.uk. Due to the high number of reports currently being received, response times have been affected but crews are aiming to repair defects on strategic main roads within two weeks of inspection. Customer reported defects on non-strategic routes will take longer to repair but it is hoped these times will reduce as the fine weather continues.