Residents waiting for ‘pothole blitz’ as reports more than quadruple

HAZARD Pothole numbers are on the rise

MOTORISTS will be unsurprised to learn that a record number of potholes in the county were reported to Kent County Council (KCC) last month – with numbers increasing more than four-fold from this time last year.

New data from KCC revealed the council had received 9,241 reports of potholes between December 2022 and January 24, 2023, compared to 2,018 reports in the same period last year.

Despite KCC’s claims to have fixed 26,000 potholes in response to over 14,000 reports, the numbers have increased 4.5 times from last year.

With the alternating ice and thaw, many residents worried that Tunbridge Wells could become ‘plagued by a plethora of potholes’.

The RAC’s Head of Roads Policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “We fear that by the spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads, which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis.

“We seem unable to get on top of an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives.

“Councils are crying out for more funding to do a proper job in getting their roads up to a decent standard,” he stressed.

Last year, KCC said they would continue fixing potholes across the county as part of a £7 million ‘Pothole Blitz’ set to cost £21 million over the next three years.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) highways grant to KCC has been slashed by 20 per cent for 2022-2023, by £9 million per annum, and £27 million over the next three years.

A Kent County Council (KCC) spokesperson told the Times: “We know the disruption that can be caused by sub-zero weather conditions, which can have a damaging impact on the road surface.

“As soon as defects are reported to us, we work quickly to complete temporary repairs to remove immediate dangers.

“Separately, we have invested £7 million this current financial year in our Pothole Blitz programme as well as other planned road maintenance.”

Potholes have become a sore subject in Tunbridge Wells after Kent was declared as the ‘UK Pothole Capital’ in 2021 by Go Compare.

The comparison website reported there were 13,554 potholes in Kent in 2021, covering 10,000 metres of road.

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