Campaign launched to plot the potholes in Hartlepool’s roads

Potholes in Brierton Lane
Potholes in Brierton Lane

A Hartlepool councillor has launched a campaign urging residents to highlight problem potholes and pavements.

Mike McLaughlin, who represents Headland and Harbour ward, began an online poll after meeting an elderly resident who recently fell over in the street leaving her face badly bruised.

Headland and Harbour councillor Mike McLaughlin

Headland and Harbour councillor Mike McLaughlin

Hartlepool Borough Council says successive years of underfunding and government cuts have had an impact on repairs, but plans to set aside £2million in this year’s budget.

Coun McLaughlin said: “I am running this campaign to find out about broken and uneven pavements and potholes to try and prevent personal injury and damage to cars by reporting it to the maintenance teams and keep chasing them up.

“Although roads and footpaths are inspected at a minimum of once every six months, and some more frequently than that – town centre, shopping precincts etc, it is important we inform the maintenance teams as soon as damage appears.

“I’m creating a list and will be chasing the council up about the damage to ensure it gets improved.”

The vote on his councillor Facebook page has been read around 6,000 times and over 200 people have voted with many flagging up areas across the town.

Coun McLaughlin said: “The resident who tripped on the uneven kerb has significant facial bruising, but most importantly it’s the unseen damage, the knock to an elderly person’s confidence when the fall is substantial.

“I see this quite frequently in A&E when they don’t feel confident going out and leading to social isolation.”

The council is currently finalising its resurfacing programme for the next financial year. A report is due to go to the Neighbourhood Services Committee on March 19.

A council spokesman said: “The council has an ongoing commitment to maintaining and improving the condition of roads and footpaths across the Borough.

“However, successive years of underfunding and continuing budget cuts from central government mean that resources are limited, and inevitably this has an impact on the amount of work the council is able to carry out.

“Nevertheless, the council has spent £9.7million on highways – which includes road and footpath maintenance – over the past five years, and is proposing to allocate a further £2million within the 2018-19 budget, due to be considered by Full Council on Thursday.”