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Norwich motorists urged to report pot-holes

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:40 02 July 2010

Mary Hamilton

Motorists in Norwich and across the county were today urged to report pot-holes immediately to help cut the risk of serious accidents.

Motorists in Norwich and across the county were today urged to report pot-holes immediately to help cut the risk of serious accidents.

Norwich City Council has called for anyone who spots damage to the city's roads to report it so that it could be quickly repaired.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council has pledged to repair dangerous pot-holes within a day of them being reported.

The city's roads are inspected at least once a year but the recent cold snap has opened up hundreds of new and old pot-holes, which could prove dangerous for motorists and cyclists.

Highway engineers are now beginning to discover the scale of the damage caused to Norfolk's 6,000 mile road network following three weeks of snow before and after Christmas, but public input could help ensure the worst problems are tackled immediately.

County council transport spokesman John Birchall said: “Where the holes are so deep as to be a risk, obviously we do not want cars damaged but we are also worried about cyclists and motorcyclists who might come to harm.

“We will deal with deep pot-holes within a day of them being reported or discovered, and often much quicker than that.”

As reported in yesterday's Evening News, the council is expecting a £1m bill for clearing up damage caused by the recent cold snap, and motorists could also be hit with repair bills to cars and other vehicles damaged by driving through pot-holes.

Frosty weather is to blame for the holes because water seeping into cracks on the road surface expands as it freezes.

Mr Birchall said: “Just the fact that you go through a pot-hole and damage your car doesn't automatically mean that the highway agency is liable.

“These things can break out and appear very quickly and, unfortunately, people are not always willing to pick up the phone and report them.

“If the county council hasn't had any opportunity to do anything about it then it is likely to be a cost on the car driver, which is why of course we want people to let us know about problems.”

Gerry Burke, spokesman for Adrian Flux insurers, said pot-hole damage to vehicles could go unnoticed leading to more severe accidents later on.

“The most common problems we see are tyre damage, wheel damage and suspension problems,” he said. “You can carry on driving for a while without realising there's something wrong and then end up having a worse accident later because your car isn't right.”

He said the firm was braced for a surge in claims from motorists whose cars have been damaged driving on ice-damaged roads.

“If you have an expensive car repairs can cost thousands,” he said. “Another danger is from people swerving to avoid the holes and ending up on the wrong side of the road.

“But the worst danger is to people on motor bikes. If you go into a pot-hole on a bike it can be lethal.”

Spotted a pot-hole? Here's how to report it.

If the problem is within Norwich contact the city council on 0344 980 3333, info@norwich.gov.uk or visit www.norwich.gov.uk and complete the enquiry form on the Contact Us page.

On trunk roads such as the A11, A12 and A47, call the Highways Agency on 08457 504030.

For deep pot-holes (3in or more deep) that need emergency repairs on roads in Norfolk, call Norfolk County Council's highways team on 0344 800 8009.

For shallower holes that do not currently pose a danger fill in a repair form at http://online.gov.uk/HighwayProblemReport.

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