Wales' potholes will take '12 years to fill'
Updated 2:55pm Thursday 3rd April 2014 in Gwent news
IT could take Welsh councils 12 years to clear a maintenance backlog of potholes and road improvements, according to a nationwide survey published this morning.
Torfaen council said yesterday it has a pothole backlog worth £3 million but only £1 million in its budget to spend, ahead of today’s publication of the annual survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA).
It revealed councils across Wales have an estimated £62.7 million budget shortfall when it comes to road maintenance - up from £2 million in the 2013 survey.
But only 15 Welsh authorities, including Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Newport, responded to this year's survey, which claimed that with 20,933 miles of Welsh roads to look after, it would cost each Welsh council £20 million to "catch up" and clear the backlog in one fell swoop.
According to the AIA Monmouthshire and Torfaen did not respond.
The figure across the whole of the UK amounts to £12 billion to get roads into a reasonable condition, according to the AIA.
On average 6,730 potholes were filled over the last year per Welsh council at a cost of £52 per pothole.
Unforeseen additional costs this year - such as bad weather - cost affected authorities around £336,667, the report estimates.
A pothole is a break-up in the surface of the road, created when the top layer of tarmac wears away or breaks apart.
Bad weather, particularly wet or freezing conditions, can accelerate the process as water gets beneath the top layer of tarmac, freezes, expands or erodes the layer beneath.
Torfaen council said every reported pothole is investigated and its size, depth and location of the hole is considered, as well as the speed limit on the road and the amount of traffic.
If the pothole is considered a danger they aim to repair it within two hours, or if it exceeds 40mm in depth, it will be added to their list of scheduled works.
During the cold winter of 2012/13 they received 1,026 reports and of those, 726 were considered dangerous, compared to 345 urgent repairs in 2013/14.
The council has three teams of two highways operatives dedicated to repairing potholes, and can fill anything from 20 to 60 per day.
The Argus has asked to see figures from the other four Gwent authorities.
We want you to tell us about potholes in roads near you. Send us a picture of your pothole telling us where you took it and who you are. We will then build a map of potholes across Gwent and find out where the pothole hotspots are.
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