County council receive 24 reports of potholes a day, figures reveal
PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 August 2019
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The scale of Suffolk's pothole problem has been revealed as new figures show the county council received 24 reports of damaged roads a day last year.
The data obtained from Suffolk County Council showed that it received 8,831 reports of potholes in the 2017/18 financial year however, it only recorded 66 official complaints about the road defects.
The county council, which is responsible for repairing road defects, spent more than £21.5million on road repairs in the 2018/19 financial year, up £3m on the previous year and forked out £21,901 in compensation for vehicle damage caused by roads or paths.
Council officers received 663 claims however only 18% were successful with each claim receiving a £187 payout on average.
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: "We responded to and managed 26,896 defects, of which 19,127 were carriageway potholes and 5,063 were footway potholes and trip hazards.
"All potholes ordered for repair are aligned with dates for completion in accordance with the Highways Maintenance Operation Plan. Performance is monitored and currently there are no carriageway potholes overdue for repair."
The council had began an all-out war to tackle the issue across the county in 2018, repairing more than 6,500 roads in the first four months.
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During the same period, Suffolk Highways received around 9,500 pothole reports from the public - some of which were duplicates - which is double the number received during the same period last year.
The figures were prompted by a national study carried out by the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) which found that nearly 700,000 pothole reports were recorded across England in 2017/18 with local authorities spending £950m on road repairs.
Penny Morgan, FSB's area lead in East Anglia said: "Potholes are a major concern for small businesses in Suffolk as so many of them rely on a fast, efficient road network.
"We'd like to see national government providing our councils with more funding for road maintenance.
"Without further funding this problem is likely to increase over time, meaning more will need to be spent on repairs and damage claims."