A HIGHWAYS boss says Hartlepool is as prepared as possible for the onset of winter after a summer of patching up potholes.
But roads manager Mike Blair says the town’s network will start to suffer when the cold weather hits but says his team will react as quickly as possible repair roads to keep them safe.
His pledge comes as new data reveals that Britain’s combined potholes measure 295 sq miles, twice the size of the Isle of Wight.
The figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that councils have paid out a total of £2.5m in compensation to motorists in the past financial year for pothole damage to cars.
There is now one pothole for every mile of road, according to breakdown company Britannia Rescue.
Mike Blair, Hartlepool Borough Council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said: “I think we are probably at our best period at the moment.
“We have had a full summer to address the potholes situation and have pretty much caught up, but we are expecting for the network to start to deteriorate again and the whole cycle will restart again.”
Mr Blair said the council’s road repair team is out on an almost daily basis, but said the council needs much more funding to bring the town’s roads up to good condition.
He warned: “At the moment the road network is starting to deteriorate on a large scale.
“It is not just potholes, there are also cracks and other surface defects that is going to lead to more damage when the wet and the frost get in the winter.
“It is lack of investment over a lot of years that has led us to this situation.
“We are certainly don’t receive anything like the amount of money needed to put the roads right in the town.”
Resurfacing work is currently going on within Hartlepool and improvement works on country lanes including Dalton Back Lane and Coal Lane are due to begin next week.
Mr Blair added: “We will respond to reports of potholes as quickly as we can during the winter to keep the roads safe.”