Cash will help to plug the gaps

COUNCIL chiefs are hoping to cash in on a six-figure sum to repair potholes in roads.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s transport chiefs are hoping to get about £100,000 from the Government to boost work to improve the conditions of the town’s weather-hit roads.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced last month that councils nationwide will be awarded £100m to help repair potholes caused by the winter’s freezing temperatures.

Council chiefs say they are hoping to use the cash to increase the road surfacing schemes they launch, instead of just filling in potholes which is just a short-term fix.

Mike Blair, the council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said: “We don’t know officially how much we are going to get, but last year there was the same amount put aside and our allocation was about £100,000. It is about 10 per cent of the overall budget that we normally get.

“Subject to approval, what we intend to do with it is do full resurfacing schemes instead of just going around and filling up potholes. That is what we prefer because it is a long-term fix instead of just patching.”

Council chiefs say the roads have been hit worst by the latest winter weather than for several years as temperatures went below –10C.

Potholes are caused when water gets into cracks in the surface of roads, before it freezes and expands, causing them to crumble away when they are driven over. The Mail launched the Plot the Pots campaign to highlight problem areas. Mr Blair has vowed to send out experts to look at the roads highlighted by Mail readers.

Any potholes measuring at least an inch-and-a-half deep and 1ft long are aimed to be repaired within 24 hours, while others are hoped to be repaired in 28 days.

Council bosses say the ideal situation would see entire roads resurfaced instead of just patching repairs.

But it would cost about £20m and the Government does not provide that much funding for road schemes. The council will spend about £300,000 this year on pothole repairs. This does not include the £1m that is spent in the town on resurfacing complete stretches of roads.

The AA has backed our Plot the Pots campaign and has urged people to log onto our website and let us know where there are potholes in the town.

People can ring Hartlepool Connect on (01429) 523333, leaving details of the exact location to enable inspectors to be able to find it and arrange for it to be repaired.

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