Road rage over potholes

A WAR of words has broken out over pothole repairs in Northumberland.

The county’s Conservative group has pledged £30million in road investment as the main priority in its election manifesto, saying not enough has been done to keep routes in order.

But now Northumberland County Council’s ruling Liberal Democrats have hit back after it was revealed the authority has carried out more pothole repairs than the 11 other councils in the North East and Cumbria combined.

Of 54,000 potholes filled in the region last year, around 34,000 were in Northumberland.

The Liberal Democrats said another £6million will be invested in road improvements in their latest budget.

Council Leader Jeff Reid said: “This is just further evidence that the Conservatives are talking rubbish on our roads.

“We are committed to investing in our roads. We are going to fill even more potholes this year with our state-of-the-art machine, we are going to build a new £25million bypass at Morpeth, we are fixing the landslips at Rothbury and Stocksfield, and of course we will continue to fight hard for the A1 to be fully dualled.”

But Conservative Group Leader Peter Jackson said the number of potholes having to be filled only shows the extent of the problem.

He said: “Northumberland Conservatives have consistently being saying that there needs to be a fundamental change in the way that we look after our roads. Planned, permanent repairs will not only give us better roads, but actually make economic sense. We all know that the current sticking plaster approach of the short-term pothole patching is not working.”