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Council claims it is on top of road hell
OXFORDSHIRE County Council has said it is on top of pothole repairs amid growing public complaints about the state of the roads.
But it has admitted that if money was no object, it could spend at least another £10m on top of what it had put aside to fix the numerous hollowed-out hazards.
Deputy council leader Rodney Rose said he felt the repairs team was coping well as ice, floods and snow combined to open up chunks of road surface.
This financial year, the council estimates it will have to carry out 32,000 repairs.
The Oxford Mail was inundated with responses, pictures and tales of crumbling roads when we asked residents to show proof.
Mr Rose denied the council was failing in its duty to maintain the roads as the number of potholes repaired in Oxfordshire has more than trebled in five years.
He said: “If I could I would completely resurface the roads every 10 years and we’d never see a pothole, but we simply haven’t got the money.
“I appreciate that it is an issue that people get angry with but I think we are doing a good job, in fact I don’t believe anyone could do a better job given the cash we have.
“Our roads stand up to anywhere else in the country considering what we have. I’d challenge anyone to find a better standard.
“We would need another £10m on top of what we are spending for structural maintenance.
“We’re likely to be spending about £14.5m on the roads in the coming year. I think we’re doing well considering the weather we are having. It’s caused problems the like I have never seen before, with all the wet and the frost.
“There are so many pothole reports coming through now it is all we can do to keep up.
“Water and road surfaces do not get on. If you factor in all the rain, and then the frost digging in and expanding, it explains why the roads crumble. It takes a lot of resurfacing. I would urge anyone who sees a pothole to report it to us so we can go out and have a look.”
In 2008/09, Oxfordshire County Council repaired 8,902 potholes, but by 2011/12 that number had doubled. It said by the end of March it was likely to have repaired about 32,000 defects since April 2012.
But it declined to state how many it had fixed this year to date.
And it did not respond when asked how much of the £14.5m roads budget would be spent solely on repairing roads.
- Around Carfax and St Aldate’s, Oxford city centre.
- Kennington Road by St Withun’s School in Grundy Crescent, Kennington.
- Southern Ring Road, between Redbridge park-and-ride and Sainsbury’s Heyford Hill, South Oxford.
- Outside Berinsfield Co-op.
- Cowley Road, near Gillians Way, East Oxford.
- Walterbush Road, Chipping Norton.
- Main Road and Poplar Grove in Kennington.
- Councils are required by law to fix potholes within 28 days. Oxfordshire County Council says it aims to repair most serious potholes within 24 hours.
- Members of the public can report potholes by calling 0845 310 11 11 or by visiting http://oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/potholes