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WATCH: The scale of pothole problems in Cornwall

potholes

8:22am 10th March 2018
(Updated 8:22am 10th March 2018)

Officials say they are expecting a jump in reports of problems like potholes in Cornwall, after the bout of bad weather.

The snow and ice, brought by Storm Emma and the 'Beast from the East', will have had an impact on our roads.

Now Cornwall Council says they expect the full extent of damage to be revealed in coming weeks.

It has an interactive map on its website which lets you report potholes across the Duchy.

Currently, officials are dealing with between 200 and 300 from Penzance to Bude.

You can check those reported on routes near you and read how to report a new pothole here.

potholes

Back in October, Pirate FM told you how there were more than 30,000 reports of potholes in 2016.

A comparison site reckons stacked up, that would have been over twice as deep as the deepest shaft at Geevor tin mine.

At the time, Confused.com said Cornwall Council spent almost £300,000 on repairs and almost £25,000 on compensation.

Following the recent cold weather, the site is reporting double the number of pothole-related breakdowns across the UK since last week.

They say nationally there were more than a million potholes reported last year, resulting in £3.1million worth of damage to vehicles.

potholes

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com said: "It’s alarming that pothole related breakdowns have doubled since last week’s bad weather.

"Drivers are already fed up of having a bumpy ride because of potholes.

"In fact, our research found that 1,031,787 potholes were reported in 2016 and caused £3.1 million worth of damage to vehicles.

"It’s no wonder more than two thirds (69%) of drivers say more should be done to tackle the problem.

"If drivers do experience a bump in the road, they should use our guide for advice on how to make your case for damage and report it to their local council before it gets any worse.

"The true depth of the UK’s pothole problem combined is as deep as the Earth’s upper crust (40,456m) and we’ve visualised this in a scrolling animation so drivers can see just how deep the problem goes in their local area".

 

Road damage is caused by bad weather as a result of water getting into cracks, freezing and then expanding, breaking up surfaces.

And with more bad weather on the way, it is not expected to get any better.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "With forecasters predicting a period of wet weather following last week's cold temperatures, we are anticipating an increase in reports of damaged road surfaces.

"It is likely that the full extent of the damage will become apparent over the next few weeks and highways crews will be monitoring the situation and responding as appropriate".

The RAC has published its Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects.

The guide, which is a new 'sideways' interpretation of normal road maintenance terminology, has a serious side: the aim is to encourage more road users to report potholes and surface defects so that highways authorities can fix them.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "While the snow caused serious short-term travel disruption, motorists will sadly be suffering its consequences for months and possibly years to come as our roads were already in a poor state of repair before the extreme cold weather hit. Unfortunately, Siberian weather was the last thing our roads needed as the freezing conditions wreak havoc with any road surface that is in bad repair.

"We fear that this Spring we may see the emergence of almost as many potholes as daffodils.

"And, although this is the season that is supposed to signal the start of better, warmer weather, this year we think it's likely to be the start of even worse road surfaces for motorists to drive on.

"Despite a succession of Government 'Pothole Funds' the state of the UK roads is still poor. Road users find themselves faced with a multitude of different types of potholes and road surface defects - so much so that that these defects are worthy of individual classification in the way that naturalists classify species and categorise sub-species.

pothole

"Potholes are without doubt a menace for drivers, and indeed for all road users, as they create a totally unnecessary road safety danger as well as costing motorists thousands of pounds in expensive repairs to their vehicles. Our own estimates put the cost to drivers at around £100m a year.

"Behind 'The RAC Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects' is a serious message to the Government: give local authorities the certainty of sufficient ring-fenced, long-term funding to enable them to bring all of the UK's roads up to a standard that is fit-for purpose.

"The Asphalt Industry Alliance estimates the one-off cost of fixing the UK's roads to be £12bn. We need the Government to develop a long-term funding strategy to find this sum over a period of five to 10 years. For example, ring-fencing 5p a litre from fuel duty revenue over five years would address the backlog by raising almost £12bn.

"Drivers contribute in excess of £40bn in motoring taxation a year and many feel they should not have to endure substandard roads as a result".

You can report potholes and other highway damage to Cornwall Council here.

8:22am 10th March 2018

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