More than 16,000 pothole reports made across Ashfield and Mansfield – in just five years
Nottinghamshire Council fixed almost 500,000 potholes over five years and has seen the number of annual repairs increase sharply since 2016, figures have shown.
A request to the authority found 476,043 potholes were repaired countywide between 2016/17 and 2020/21, with 100,074 fixed in the most recent financial year.
This is a 64 per cent rise on the 61,063 repairs undertaken by the authority in 2016/17.
Figures show 2018/19 was the most prominent year for damaged roads, with 114,517 repairs completed in 12 months. A further 92,952 repairs were conducted in 2017/18 and 107,437 were made in 2019/20.
Roads in Newark & Sherwood were the most frequently visited by Via East Midlands, the council’s highways contractor, with 147,752 potholes repaired over five years.
There were a further 46,248 repairs in Ashfield and 48,590 in Mansfield between 2016 and March 2021.
Coun Bruce Laughton, council deputy leader, said: “We recognise it’s an issue across the county.
“We’ve got to do something about it, as there’s no doubt the electorate will hold us accountable if we don’t.”
The request also revealed the authority spent £21.4 million on reactive pothole and patching repairs.
The Conservative administration created a cross-party highways panel as one of its first actions following May’s election victory.
Members are currently looking to see whether different methods could be used to improve the way roads are repaired.
Gary Wood, council head of highways, said: “Since 2016, we have repaired more than 476,000 defects including potholes to keep roads and pavements safe for the travelling public. In addition to this, we have invested more than £70m in road resurfacing schemes throughout the county.
“We remain committed to ensuring the best value for money and best standard of repairs.
“In May, we announced a review panel to look at all aspects of our highways maintenance, including road inspections, improvement programmes and funding, maintenance treatments, and repair techniques.”
The council was asked how many potholes it repaired more than once during the period and how many requests were made to fix the same pothole after a previous repair.
The authority could not provide this information, but stated it finds the ‘failure rate very low’ for its repair jobs.
It said many cases of potholes reappearing are ‘due to existing material around the area where the initial pothole was repaired subsequently failing’.
However, Coun Tom Hollis, Ashfield Independents member for Sutton West, said: “We find it hard to believe the council doesn’t hold the figures for revisiting potholes.”
Coun Hollis and his party have been vocal about the standard of the county’s roads.
Coun Hollis caused controversy when he said the county’s roads would ‘embarrass a Third World country’ earlier this month, while the party have been pushing for more money to be spent on Ashfield’s and Mansfield’s roads.
A total of 9,990 requests were made to the authority in 2016/17, rising to 13,011 in 2017/18. By March 2021, it rose to 14,875 over 12 months.
In total, 63,693 requests were made for potholes to be repaired over the period, with Newark & Sherwood leading the way with 13,095.
Some 10,995 requests were issued in Ashfield and 5,464 in Mansfield.
The panel is expected to report in the coming months, outlining what the authority will do to fix what councillors describe as its ‘broken roads’.