May 19 2013 Latest news:
Dan Grimmer and David Freezer
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
As spring begins to emerge, the impact of the damage done to the roads of Norwich and Norfolk by the snow and ice of winter is becoming all too apparent.
Today the Norwich Evening News is launching a new campaign, Spot the Pot, to find the streets which are most in need of repairs to pot-holes and road surfaces.
While Norfolk County Council yesterday decided where to spend a government cash on some road repairs, we want you, our readers, to let us know if pot-holes are blighting roads in your community so we can build up a dossier to take to transport chiefs in a bid to get further action.
The launch comes as news that an extra 50 miles of Norfolk’s roads will be repaired – thanks to a government hand-out to tackle damage caused by winter weather.
Norfolk County Council’s controlling Conservative cabinet yesterday agreed how to spend the millions of pounds of extra money.
The government announced in December it would give the county council £5.7m to use over the next two years, and the cabinet decided how to use £3.7m in the coming financial year.
The cabinet agreed that £1.8m will be used on surface dressing and £1.4m on road surfacing, which the council says will enable just under 50 miles more to be treated.
The extra cash means, in total, just under £20m will be spent surface dressing or resurfacing the county’s roads, which aims to prevent potholes from developing.
While the annual bill just to maintain the current condition of the county’s roads is £35m, the cabinet agreed to spend just over £26m on structural maintenance.
Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey and his group’s spokesman for planning and transportation, said: “Personally I think the number of potholes is increasing, partly because the council is looking at short-term fixes such as surface dressing rather than really tackling the problem.
“It’s much more expensive to take the whole surface off and replace it, but there’s not the money available to do that.
“It doesn’t matter what political persuasion you are. It’s hard to see how it will ever be resolved without a significant amount of money coming from somewhere.”
Two years ago the Evening News reported on Trafford Road, one of the roads most blighted by potholes in the city.
A survey in early 2011 found 56 potholes along the length of Trafford Road and people living in the street say the situation has still not improved - particularly as the number 36 First Norwich bus service has been using the road to get from St Stephens Street to Hall Road since September.
Brian McKenzie, 65, said: “It is bad. They’ve done a few of the big ones along here but I would say it’s even worse, particularly since they’ve been sending the buses down here.
“They’ve got to sort it out or they’ll have claims for the suspension going on people’s cars.”
Sophie Smith, 32, said: “It probably is a little bit worse. It’s quite bad at the moment, but the weather has been bad.
“Where the cars are parked on either side of the road you can’t avoid the potholes so it could damage people’s cars.”
While Chris Ford, 40, added: “The last two months has been worse, probably because the buses have been coming down here every half-an-hour.
“It’s not the most ideal situation, it’s annoying more than anything else when you are driving along here.”
Now we want to know which of the city’s roads needs money spent on it and if potholes have caused you major problems.
- To report potholes to Norwich City Council, call 0344 980 3333 or go to www.norwich.gov.uk/Forms, or to report a pothole to the county council, call 0344 8008020 or go to online.norfolk.gov.uk/highways
- Is your street particularly blighted by potholes? Send your views and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Spot the Pot, Newsdesk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.
- You can also submit your pictures of potholes to our iwitness24 website at www.iwitness24.co.uk and by using social network Twitter by using the hashtag #SpotThePot