‘You plot them and we’ll fill them in’

ROADS chiefs have vowed to send inspectors to assess more than a dozen reports of potholed streets that have been put forward by Mail readers.

The reports were put forward as part of the Mail’s Plot the Pots campaign that is urging readers to let us know where road repairs need to be carried out.

Bosses at Hartlepool Borough Council have pledged to look at any potholes that are reported to the Mail in a bid to improve the town’s crumbling roads.

Hartlepool’s roads have been described as being in an “atrocious” state after the latest winter freeze saw a huge rise in the number of potholes.

Road workers at Hartlepool Borough Council were working flat-out all last year to clear potholes caused by last winter’s freezing temperatures when the latest cold blast saw the situation get even worse.

Around 20 people have logged onto out Plot the Pots section on our homepage at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk in the last few days and outlined more than a dozen streets that need attention.

Mike Blair, the council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said: “We will go out and inspect the streets that have been identified and we will take the appropriate action depnding on the severity of the potholes that we find.”

Potholes that are at least an inch and a half deep and a foot long are aimed to be repaired within 24 hours, while any other potholes are repaired within 28 days.

The Mail has relaunched its Plot the Pots campaign and we are urging you to let us know where there are potholes on town roads.

Huge holes in the road can be a danger to motorists and pedestrians and need to be repaired before anyone is hurt.

Council chiefs say the roads have been hit worse 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 surfaces to crumble away when they are driven over.

Council bosses say the ideal situation would see entire roads resurfaced instead of just patching repairs. But it would cost around £20m and the Government does not provide that much funding for road schemes.

The council will spend around £300,000 this year on pothole repairs, which does not include the £1m that is spent in the town on resurfacing complete stretches of roads.

It has a patching squad that works solely on repairing potholes five-days-a-week and bosses say they are constantly working on repairing them.

Mr Blair said he would prefer to be able to resurface whole roads as covering potholes with patches only lasts for around two years, as long as they are not hit by severe temperatures.

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

People can report potholes to the council by calling (01429) 523333.