County’s pothole backlog tops 6,600

A backlog of 6,600 potholes exists in Northumberland, six months after council claims that it had been cleared.

In June, Northumberland County Council said it had cleared a backlog of 12,200 potholes, receiving praise for its improvement.

Last year, the Government gave an extra £2.9million to repair roads in the county, and last month a further £91million was pledged for the next six years.

However, the pothole problem persists.

Council Policy Board Member for Streetcare Ian Swithenbank said: “As with many local authorities, Northumberland has seen its road network deteriorate over the past few years, mainly due to long-term under-investment, exacerbated by a series of severe weather events.

“The council recognises the importance of maintaining this network and has over the past two years invested heavily in additional resources. During this time we have repaired over 40,000 potholes and recently topped the poll in the ‘most improved county council’ category in the Highways and Transportation public satisfaction survey.

“We are currently carrying out more work on the county’s highways than has been seen for many years.”

Morpeth North Conservative member David Bawn said: “We had council Leader Grant Davey’s vainglorious boast that all the potholes in Northumberland would be filled by August last year. When he realised that this was impossible, he clarified his statement to say that the backlog would be eliminated. It now transpires that even this has not been achieved.

“I hope the council spends wisely the extra £91million it is receiving from central government to tackle this ongoing problem without resorting to such embarrassing hubris.”