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Roads set to be inspected for potholes more frequently following council review

15 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Potholes in Dinas Powys. Photo Ted Peskett.

Ted Peskett Local Democracy Reporter

Roads are set to be inspected for potholes and other defects more frequently, after a council recently carried out a review of its highway maintenance and inspection regime.

Vale of Glamorgan Council proposed a number of changes following the review, including increasing road inspections to every three months rather than every six months.

One councillor, during a discussion on the proposals at a scrutiny committee meeting, said the review was “overdue” with the last one having taken place in 2014, but added that the proposed update was a “positive move”.

Speaking at the environmental scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday, March 12, Cllr Joanna Protheroe said: “It has got to be better going from six months to three months.

“Within the rural Vale… [we] suffer quite a lot with flooding… potholes literally pop up over night and there is very little you can do about it.”

Updating regimes

On the decision to carry out the review, the council’s neighbourhood manager for highway services, Nathan Thomas, said other nearby authorities, including Bridgend and Cardiff, were ahead of the Vale in updating their inspection and maintenance regimes.

“We really need to follow suit to align with our neighbouring authorities .”

Mr Thomas also said the authority was “very often” questioned by the Magistrates Court on why it hadn’t carried out a review of its inspection and repair regime for a long time during cases involving third party claims.

The review was initiated in 2019, but the council’s highways team wasn’t sufficiently resourced to carry it out and it wasn’t until 2020 that Mr Thomas was appointed in his role.

Mr Thomas said the review found that there had been no changes to response times to road and footway damage – two hours for critical defects and 24 hours for safety defects – and that the council sometimes exceeded the county surveyor’s minimum standard for responding to carriage and footway defects.

Another member of the scrutiny committee, Cllr Ian Perry, said he found new potholes in his ward on a weekly basis.

600 defects

There are currently about 600 outstanding defects that the council plans to rectify.

This time last year, the council had 1,200 outstanding defects.

Mr Thomas said: “That is partly because we had two weeks of high rainfall followed by two weeks of frost.

“The highway just deteriorated at a far greater pace.”

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood and building services, Cllr Mark Wilson, said: “I am really pleased that we are improving the inspection regime on many of these major roads and I suppose… saving money in many respects.”

Cllr Wilson urged members to use the Contact One Vale (C1V) app to report a pothole or highway damage if they see it, adding: “If you don’t get anywhere, by all means please report it to myself or to any of our officers.”

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