Additional funding secured to tackle the increasing problem of potholes

7 February 2018

Cheshire West and Chester Council has been awarded £445,141 of funding to help tackle potholes in the borough from the Department of Transport’s Pothole Action Fund.

The additional money will complement the Council’s own funding and support significant number of repairs to potholes and additional patching and surface treatment schemes across the borough.

At this time of year bad weather has a massive impact on the amount of potholes forming and there is an increase in the number of potholes on the borough’s roads.

Potholes are caused when water seeps through cracks in the road caused by passing vehicles.  During periods of extreme cold, the water freezes and expands. This causes more cracks to form in the road; the asphalt is then pushed out like a bubble. 

The ice thaws and milder weather dries up all the water and creates a hole under the surface of the road. This gets larger every time water seeps into the hole, freezes and expands.

With the base weakened, the weight of traffic causes the road surface to collapse into the hole that was formed from water freezing, expanding and thawing under the surface.  A pothole is formed once the road surface has collapsed; wear from traffic then makes the hole bigger. 

This is not always a lengthy process either, under the right conditions potholes can develop very quickly, sometimes in as little as 24 hours.
Cheshire West and Chester Council carries out regular inspections of the highway network by dedicated staff to ensure potholes and other defects are identified and repaired in a timely manner, keeping the highway safe.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Shore said: “On average we repair over 5,000 potholes a year. We see an increase in the number appearing on the borough’s roads at this time of year.

“Please report potholes through our Your Streets website - westcheshireyourstreets.co.uk/road-care-scheme. Serious defects are prioritised first and may at this time of year consist of a temporary type repair as the cold weather affects the type of repair we can carry out to fix potholes.

“Repairs are normally carried out with hot materials in average temperatures. During cold weather this means temporary repairs are made with temporary material keeping the network serviceable and drivers safe.

“The location of each defect is accurately logged and a permanent repair will be included in an appropriate programme of works, whether that be surface treatment pre-patching or a programme of patching works later in the year.”

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