Greater Manchester: We are in a 'pothole crisis'

Council calls on government for more money to deal with growing problem

by Sarah Barth   November 24, 2012  

Pothole.jpg

Greater Manchester has hit a 'pothole crisis', and has called on the government to make available more money to solve the problem before it gets any worse.

Thanks to austerity budget cuts, the Local Government Association says there is an £800m shortfall in road maintenance budgets nationally.

In Manchester last year, the council spent more than £4m on road maintenance  - including around £1.6m on repairs to over 32,700 potholes.

A Bolton concillor has said that their budget for repairs has been halved this year, but poor winter weather conditions in recent years have made the problem far worse than usual.

Dave Hibbert, Oldham council’s cabinet member for transport, told the Manchester Evening News: “Some of our roads are already in need of extensive repair and others will become badly affected if we don’t act.

“Oldham’s location, high on the Pennine plateau, means our roads are more susceptible to cold weather damage than other boroughs.
We’re doing our bit, but the road infrastructure is a national programme that requires a national response from central government.”

Oldham council has already committed a further £2m to pothole and road repairs, but it's not enough to fix all the problem areas.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and transport board, said: “Unless something changes many councils will struggle to keep on top of repairs. If they have their funding cut further or face another severe winter, the impact on our already crumbling roads could be catastrophic.”

The CTC already runs a campaign, Fill That Hole, with an accompanying smartphone app that allows riders to snap a photo of a hole and send its location to the local council.

The campaign site says: "Potholes can be more than a nuisance. They can be a danger to cyclists and others. In the UK, there’s an average of one road defect for every 110 metres of road."

It currently receives around 33 reports of holes every day, and estimates that nearly a third of them are subsequently fixed.

 

10 user comments

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filling potholes just delays the problem a bit. The roads need rebuilt, strong enough to put up with the traffic they now have to bear.

posted by Al__S [418 posts]
24th November 2012 - 11:27

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I don't know, imagine the government came up with an idea to reduce the amount of motorised traffic, perhaps by encouraging people to travel by other means. I'm stabbing in the dark here but say for example by bike or if you live in Somerset by pedalo - that could reduce the money spent on roads, improve health, provide local jobs and improve the environment. Sorry if this sounds like double Dutch.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

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posted by ragtag [137 posts]
24th November 2012 - 11:43

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If they fixed them properly in the first place rather than the crap patching they have started doing they would last longer. Still I imagine the money they have saved could go to the councillors getting a well deserved pay rise Big Grin

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posted by cidermart [446 posts]
24th November 2012 - 12:06

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another thought, why not get utilities to do the job properly rather than crap patching when they dig holes, roads will wear out, but more often than not the pot holes appear on the edge of these patches.

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posted by mrmo [855 posts]
24th November 2012 - 14:01

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Problem is, as soon as the roads are repaired, some utility company or other comes along and digs it all up again.

Manchester is horrendous for potholes, some of the road surfaces wouldn't look out of place in a warzone - just look like they've been bombed...

So the council do cheap fixes which just exacerbates the problem long term. Some of the roads where they've been putting down the new tram lines are quite decent now - just that cyclists now have tram lines to cope with instead of potholes!

posted by crazy-legs [436 posts]
24th November 2012 - 19:40

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mrmo wrote:
another thought, why not get utilities to do the job properly rather than crap patching when they dig holes, roads will wear out, but more often than not the pot holes appear on the edge of these patches.

What he said. ^^^

If a Utility company digs up any part of the roadway they should be made to resurface the entire section of road they have worked in, from kerb to kerb - not just the bit they have dug up. It is usually the point where two differing surfaces have been joined (badly) where pot holes appear or where an excavation hasnt been backfilled properly and sinks.

posted by Some Fella [616 posts]
24th November 2012 - 20:44

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I live in Manchester and ride to work most days and the road are a mess! I always use double bar tape!!!

posted by leedgreen [27 posts]
24th November 2012 - 22:52

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I prefer the double dutch solution above.

Perhaps if the fuel cost a bit more .....

Shay

posted by shay cycles [167 posts]
24th November 2012 - 23:08

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Think about it, if we didn't have so many potholes being filled with rain the puddles and overflowing gutters would be even worse.

There is method in that pot hole madness.

posted by farrell [1015 posts]
26th November 2012 - 13:57

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leedgreen wrote:
I live in Manchester and ride to work most days and the road are a mess!
I always use double bar tape!!!

leedgreen,
just done similar this weekend as fed up with the moonlike surface that is Palatine Road.
By putting put bar tape over my sponge grips on the flat bar steel single speed, I've gone from having rattled teeth to what feels like cycling in boxing gloves.

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posted by Joselito [118 posts]
26th November 2012 - 15:08

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