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£270m roads repair backlog amid pothole "explosion"

£270m roads repair backlog amid pothole "explosion"

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 18th January 2020. (Updated at 9:15am 18th January 2020)

It is revealed that Cornwall's roads repair backlog stands at £270 million, after an "explosion" of potholes last winter.

It was National Pothole Day on Wednesday which sparked calls for better road investment in the Duchy.

Last year, Cornwall Council repaired more than 25,000 potholes - that is around 68 per day. Up to 200 can be repaired a day.

But the Council says a difference is being made to the resilience of our roads by the ongoing investment in the highway network.
The investment will see an extra £20m spent on our highway network by 2021 - in the last year more than 300 roads have been resurfaced across Cornwall as a result of the first phase of this funding.
Cornwall's main A and B roads continue to rank among the top 25% in the country, but bosses say more Government funding is needed to tackle the £270m backlog in road maintenance and repairs on our 7,300km highway network.


"While the Government's manifesto pledge of extra funding for potholes is to be welcomed, this is just papering over the cracks," he explained. "We must invest in our roads - particularly the rural network - and carry out work to prevent potholes forming in the first place. The only way we can do this is with a long term funding settlement from the Government. 

"As a report from the County Council's Network highlighted yesterday, rural councils are on the receiving end of less funding to carry out long term road repairs - major cities receive up to three times the amount in comparison. Our communities are just as reliant on their roads as those who live in cities - more so if you consider the public transport options available in some areas.
"Our investment demonstrates the benefits of proactive maintenance. This extra funding has improved the surface and drainage of more than 370 miles of road across Cornwall and it's estimated that this work will prevent around 1,200 potholes from forming each year."

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport

Around 98% of potholes are repaired by Cormac within timescales set out in the Council's policy.

Bosses say these potholes are being repaired quicker and with the environment in mind thanks to new vehicles which make it easier for crews to work on single track roads and a converted pothole repairer trailer which is powered by biomethane.

If you spot a pothole in Cornwall - you can report that here.

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