Pothole issue taken ‘very seriously’ in West Sussex

It was National Pothole Day last week and our county council highways team reminded residents it is working hard to not only repair potholes but to prevent them.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:32 pm
Pothole on A286 in Midhurst, just before the entrance to Rother College. Pic Steve Robards SR20011501 SUS-200115-130909001

West Sussex Highways repaired 18,514 – that’s an average of about 350 every week – in 2019 to 2020.

A spokesman said: “Fixing significantly-sized potholes is done within 28 days, or sooner if the problem is severe.”

However, repairs are only part of the picture, the spokesman said. The teams also resurface whole/large sections of roads, removing all the surface and replacing with a new one on top and they micro-surface, where a layer of asphalt emulsion is blended with finely-crushed stone to seal the road surface and stop further deterioration, use surface dressing, spraying the road with bitumen binder, followed by a layer of stone chippings which are then rolled in, sealing the road and restoring its skid-resisting properties.

JPOS West Sussex County Council press release photo of a road being resurfaced to prevent potholes

“All three methods contribute to our pothole prevention strategy and in 2019 to 2020, we invested a total of £8.9 million treating 806,000m of carriageway using these three methods – that’s the equivalent of nearly 60 miles of road,” said the spokesman.

The benefits include maximising the road’s life and providing a better running surface, said the spokesman. This leads to fewer localised repairs which would cause greater disruption over time.

Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We take the pothole issue very seriously – we know they are the bane of road users’ lives and our highways teams, and our contractor, work hard prioritising and repairing them. We also welcome National Pothole Day if it highlights the need for extra Government funding to help us improve our roads.

“However, to focus on potholes alone is deceptive: we take a holistic approach to maintaining our road network, and carefully plan making the most of finite budgets with our resurfacing programme.”

The county council issued some pothole facts:

l In recent weeks, the frequent change between cold temperatures, to mild/wet weather, and back again, has increased the number of potholes on our roads.

l The county council is responsible for maintaining around 2,500 miles of road. While the county council is responsible for most roads in West Sussex, Highways England is responsible for, and maintains, the A27, A23 and M23.

l Repairing defects, such as potholes, is done on a priority basis, dependent on size and depth.

l Roads are inspected according to their hierarchy, with busy A roads, for example, inspected frequently but quieter routes inspected less often.

l People can help by reporting concerns about potholes at www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem-with-a-road-or-pavement/