CAMPAIGN: Winter leaves more pothole damage on our roads

Wakefield will receive around half a million in funding to tackle the issue
Wakefield will receive around half a million in funding to tackle the issue

Workers at Wakefield Council are trying to keep up with the district’s pothole problem as recent wintry spells have devastated roads and caused havoc for motorists.

Between April 3 and April 6 the council repaired some of the most serious, or “category one”, potholes on more than 50 of the district’s damaged streets.

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Wakefield will receive around half a million in funding to tackle the issue but a senior councillor has warned this is a drop in the ocean, representing just one per cent of the cash needed.

The Express has launched a campaign to highlight the problem and is working alongside the council to lobby central government.

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Coun Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for transportation and highways, said: “It’s great to have the support of the Express lobbying central government to get the essential investment that roads need, not just in this district but nationally.

“Years of under investment from successive governments mean that many roads are struggling to stand up to the recent harsh weather conditions.”

Winter 2017/18 has been a real mix of extremes from very cold temperatures resulting in frost, ice and snow to some very heavy rainfall.

Wakefield Council has used well over 7200 tonnes of grit, and gritted a total length of nearly 33,000 miles of priority roads, along with hundreds more miles of estate and local roads.

By comparison, in 2016/17 the council gritted around 14,000 miles of roads and used just over 3000 tonnes of grit.

Coun Morley added: “We have teams dedicated to repairing potholes six days per week, but with more heavy rain like we’ve seen this week, road surfaces are once again under attack from the elements and repair work is being hampered, despite our very best efforts.

“As the Express campaign has pointed out, potholes are an issue for all councils but I want to assure people that we are doing the very best we can with the resources we have available.

“We are continuing to inspect and monitor all roads in the district and working through residents’ reports so we can prioritise our resources to carry out the repairs that are needed the most.”

Last week some potholes were fixed in Ossett, Normanton, St John’s and Lupset.

Further potholes were fixed in the Pontefract and Knottingley areas. The list includes roads where the council has dealt with category one potholes.

Other potholes may not have been dealt with but the council said that did not mean they would not be fixed.