County council steps up pothole work as winter hits the roads

Oxfordshire County Council is putting more resources into tackling the effects of a tough winter on the roads.

Repeated cycles of ice, thaws and snow created the worst possible weather conditions for roads over the last few months leading to a rise in reports on Fix My Street from 3,000 pre-Christmas to 7,000 during January. These reports include all ‘defects’ people have spotted and will include signs, lines and blocked drains as well as potholes.

The county council has drafted in more staff to carry out inspections and contractors Skanska are sending out more teams to carry our repairs. Inspectors are now out across Oxfordshire assessing the public’s defect reports and ensuring that any that pose a safety problem are dealt with first and non-urgent problems logged for attention later.

New Dragon takes to the rural roads

An additional Dragon Patcher will be in action on the road network from mid-February travelling round on an ‘inspect and fix’ basis on the rural network.

Extra money for road repairs

Although fixing potholes costs money there is good news in the form of almost £1m in extra funding from the Department for Transport in recognition of damage done to the roads by bad weather.

This money will be spent on road patching later this year as that approach is seen to have longer lasting benefits and give better value for money. Defects that make roads hazardous will be dealt with within 24 hours as usual.

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said: “The public is rightly concerned about the state of the roads in Oxfordshire and this has been reflected in a big increase in reports they are making on Fix My Street.

“We want people to report any problems that they find so that, along with information from our own inspections, we can prioritise the right repairs quickly.

“Clearly the extra money from the DfT is welcome but the rise in reports of potholes on our roads indicates that there is a case for more government funding to tackle the problems on our roads.”

The link to the Oxfordshire County Council Fix My Street system is: https://fixmystreet.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ If a defect has paint markings around it then it has already been scheduled for repair and does not need a new report.