‘Not enough money’ to eradicate potholes in Hartlepool as cost of repairs would be a staggering £22m

A pothole in Torbay Grove. Picture by FRANK REID
A pothole in Torbay Grove. Picture by FRANK REID

COUNCIL bosses have admitted they will never be able to totally eradicate potholes as it will cost £22m to resurface all the towns damaged roads.

Hartlepool Borough Council says it will never be able to completely clear its road repairs backlog after suffering from Government under-funding for several years. It comes after the council was told it is to get more than £3m over the next three years to tackle pothole problems.

Marjorie James  Labour

Marjorie James Labour

Hartlepool will get £1.18m in the financial year 2015/16, £1.08m in 2016/17 and £1.05m in 2017/18.

Councillor Marjorie James, chair of the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “The structural maintenance element of our Local Transport Plan for 2015-2021 - which helps to fund road repairs across the borough - has increased by 50 per cent as a result of additional Central Government funding.

“While any extra money is always welcome, it has to be pointed out that this increase follows years of chronic under-funding from Central Government for road repairs. As we repair and improve roads others inevitably deteriorate, and the harsh reality is that as things stand we will never have enough money to completely clear our repairs backlog.”

Potholes are caused when water gets into cracks in the surface of roads before it freezes and expands, causing the surface to crumble away when it is driven over.

The authority says the ideal situation would see entire roads resurfaced instead of just patching repairs, but it would cost around £22m and the Government does not provide that much funding for road schemes.

Repairs are given priority based on the size and severity of potholes and whether they are deemed to be a danger.

Regular surveys are carried out on road surfaces and potholes are categorised on how urgently they need to be repaired.