SWINDON Council has tackled more than 2,000 potholes so far this financial year – but residents say many holes remain unfilled.
Two years ago, the Government announced that Swindon would get a slice of an additional £100million to tackle potholes, on top of the £831m provided already to councils in England. The Government also allocated £3billion over four years for the pothole problem.
Swindon Council has revealed that since the start of April it has repaired 2,204 potholes at a cost of approximately £43,000 – but residents say more could be done and ward councillors want the Government to hand out more funding.
The Adver had a huge response to an appeal asking readers to send in names and photographs of bad areas. Suggested blackspots included the slip road from Park North joining Drakes Way, Mill Lane towards Wharf Road, the exit from Howse Garden onto Northern Road, the road between junction 16 and Royal Wootton Bassett, Montagu Street, Morris Street, Summer Street and Deburgh Street.
Lyn Townsend, who has lived in Redcliffe Street, Rodbourne, with her husband Ken since 1965, said her road was resurfaced in 2010 after the couple lobbied the council for about two years, but many of the surrounding streets were still potholed and it needed to be sorted out urgently.
She said: “There’s some right ones around Rodbourne. There’s several along Deburgh Street and Summer Street. There was some quite bad ones down there as well.
“I’m always phoning up but they don’t take any notice. “I’m always phoning up about something but all you get ‘oh, it has got to have 10 days’ notice until they can come out’, but they come out and put a yellow line around the hole and they have to go to talk about it I suppose, but it never seems to get beyond the yellow line.”
She said badly potholed roads needed to be resurfaced because the substance used to fill potholes comes out easily after rain or frost, but many of the local roads had not been resurfaced in years.
Mike Townsend, 73, of Upham Road, Old Walcot, who has lived in the area since 1955, said the pothole problem had improved slightly on the estate in the last year or so but was still an issue on some roads.
He said: “There’s still potholes. The biggest problem is that they come along, patch up the road, and then unfortunately vehicles cut it up. “Someone comes out and looks at it and puts some yellow around it and a team comes and puts some stuff in. “Most of the potholes, they stick Tarmac in and use a rammer and ram it down and that’s about it, but unfortunately it doesn’t stick that well.”
Coun Fionuala Foley, cabinet member for Streetmart and corporate services, said: “We have received 618 reports of potholes from the public so far this financial year, but our highways inspectors have also identified many more defects.
“Up until this week, we have repaired 2,204 potholes at a cost of approximately £43,000, “However, we also carry out other repairs on the roads which do not meet our set pothole criteria.
“After last month’s snow, we also carried out a ‘find and fix’ programme with our contractor Swindon Commercial Services Ltd, where a crew inspected the main gritting routes for potholes and fixed more than 300 defects as soon as they were identified.”
To report potholes, email the Streetsmart team on firstname.lastname@example.org