Essex County Council pledge extra £3 million for pothole repairs

News / Thu 18th May 2023 at 12:37pm

ESSEX County Council has pledged an extra £3million for highway maintenance as it launches its spring programme to repair potholes.

The extra cash comes in addition to the further £9m announced in February as part of the council budget spending.

The extra package of investment follows data that shows Essex County Council has been forced to pay more than £700,000 in pothole injury and damage claims from more than 3,000 claims submitted to the council since the start of 2021.

Potholes on roads across Essex have been a hot top of debate over recent months and was a key issue contested by political groups leading to the local elections on May 4.

Data released through a Freedom of Information request showed more than 3,000 claims had been submitted to the council, resulting in successful payouts coming to a total of £718,288.19.

More than 26,000 potholes have been reported to Essex County Council between 2020/21 and 2021/22, according to figures from the Liberal Democrats.

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said that all compensation claims are investigated fully, and damages paid if the council has been liable. The council has added that the majority of claims are successfully defended..

Essex Highways has now launched its 2023/24 programme to upgrade the condition of many roads across the county. This will repair some of the damage caused by the cold and wet winter conditions.

Essex Highways’ budget for maintaining and repairing the carriageway across Essex over the next year is over £35m. This does not include the £9m additional investment announced in February and the £3m today.

Of the £9m, £3.46mhas been allocated for road resurfacing, £4m for two member led footways schemes, where members will prioritise funding across their districts and £1.54m for carriageway patching.

An extra £1.2m has also been allocated to Local Highway Panels for resurfacing. Additional crews have also been put in place to support Essex Highways teams deliver maintenance and repairs across Essex.

Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “The additional investment allocated to fixing Essex’s roads is a clear commitment from Essex County Council to ensuring damage caused by the winter is repaired and roads are maintained.

“It’s exciting the resurfacing programme is now underway and is being supported by additional crews secured to help with the volume of work required to repair roads the width and breadth of the county and increase the visibility of the service as these repairs are carried out.”

Announcing extra money for highways, leader of Essex County Council, Councillor Kevin Bentley said: “We are also aware of the day to day concerns of residents.

“We know that highways is a major issue for many and like any other councils we have significant financial challenges. Including the rising cost of not only materialsto repair roads, but also vital services to protect the elderly and vulnerable.”

In December 2022 the council said filling potholes is not a priority while the cost of living crisis is hitting the authority admitting it was running a policy of “managed decline” on its roads.

Even at current levels Essex Highways are investing less than half the annual amount required just to ‘stay still’, exacerbated even more by inflationary pressures. The value of annual deterioration, is modelled at £77.7m per year across Essex.

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11 Comments for Essex County Council pledge extra £3 million for pothole repairs:

Luke Burton
2023-05-18 13:34:35

£3m sounds like a lot in isolation, but that shouldn't be the metric the public judge the council on. We need to know how many potholes there are and the number the council plan to fix within a unit of time. That way people can see whether effort is actually being undertaken. For all I know, that £3m might just be the cost of biscuits for greedy Councillors sitting in some obscure pothole committee.

gary roberts
2023-05-18 16:02:28

That is for Essex isn't it? How much for Harlow? Smoke and mirrors again I think.

James Leppard
2023-05-18 17:21:51

Mr Roberts, as potholes are a matter for Essex CC, it is pretty obvious that an initial report will publish the headline figure for the entire county. Regarding Luke Burton’s comments, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, the estimated average pothole repair cost in England & Wales is around £63. So, if allow for some inflation and overhead and say it is £67, well the £3m would cover around 44,776 potholes across the whole of Essex. If funds were allocated on the basis of population % per District, well Harlow accounts for about 5.83% of the Essex population and would be entitled to £174.900, representing the repair of some 2,610 potholes. We shall see how it pans out.

Dan smith
2023-05-18 18:16:52

Well if they do a proper job instead of just quick fix these roads wouldn’t be so bad like all roads in harlow bodge job then they have to re do them thats why it cost so much just do it right first time saves money and time

gary roberts
2023-05-18 18:32:39

Cllr. Leppard have you inspected the roads and pavements in Potter Street? They are disgraceful and need immediate attention so a budget for Harlow roads must be important to the councillors' in this town. All I ask is that you fight for some of it for your Potter Street constituents. Cllr. Perrin appeared to suggest he had a hotline to ECC before he resigned. Is that not correct? I could list the issues that need to be addressed in Potter Street but apparently you already know them. Now the local elections are over and the political BS should end can you and your fellow councillors' start dealing with them including the road and pavements issues of course. I would hate to find come next May nothing has been done to improve the Potter Street area again: wouldn't you?

Peter Scally
2023-05-18 18:41:36

Why do ECC talk in millions of pounds rather than the millions of potholes we constantly hit? I firmly maintain that Essex Highways problems are not solely 'financial constraints' that can sound very genuine, but that is probably hiding the full truth. Certainly regarding demolished road signs the problem is more likely to be poorly worded contracts void of any firm completion period. The contractor/s gain from this at the expense of the public. Does anyone else gain? When will our representatives (ECC Councillors) deliver long term on residents priorities - not just until next year. Future contracts need improvement, with penalties for delays - will those who so many voted for ever learn? They have a year to change course. Are they prepared to act for the good of all?

James Leppard
2023-05-18 18:57:05

Dear Mr Roberts. I have raised a number of issues regarding roads in Potter Street. However, I shall be happy to do a walk around with you to highlight the issues you mentioned. Please email me (you have my details) and we can agree to meet up and do an inspection together. Thanks

Dan smith
2023-05-18 20:08:01

Why is it we have to maintain our cars to be road worthy or they damage our cars why arent the roads car worthy maybe we should all stop paying car tax council tax until these useless wankers fix all roads once and for all and a decent job spent 3 months to completely do the foot path near northbrooks but patch up haydens road and dont get me started with road by nicholsfield i think a baby or blind person could do a better job

2023-05-18 20:30:44

I love the way that the council always blame the weather for the state of the roads. They never mention the lack of investment or maintenance.

Kim Oconnor
2023-05-19 09:19:00

It's a joke . The ones out side my house were circled with red paint, that was months ago, what a waste of time and money that was, paint gone now, and theses are just so huge now that parking is a nightmare.

2023-05-19 10:58:12

We wonder how much there spray paint bill is and the poor guy who does that job. Roads and footpaths and cycle tracks should not be on same budget or should we start driving on them to save wear and tear off our cars. Resurface. Property. Waste off time and money doing a pot hole. Then leaveing the one next to it. Also if council successfully defended most cases someone is getting rich. Wonder if its people the council know 🤔😒

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