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Greater Manchester: We are in a 'pothole crisis'

Council calls on government for more money to deal with growing problem

Greater Manchester has hit a 'pothole crisis', and has called on the government to make available more money to solve the problem before it gets any worse.

Thanks to austerity budget cuts, the Local Government Association says there is an £800m shortfall in road maintenance budgets nationally.

In Manchester last year, the council spent more than £4m on road maintenance  - including around £1.6m on repairs to over 32,700 potholes.

A Bolton concillor has said that their budget for repairs has been halved this year, but poor winter weather conditions in recent years have made the problem far worse than usual.

Dave Hibbert, Oldham council’s cabinet member for transport, told the Manchester Evening News: “Some of our roads are already in need of extensive repair and others will become badly affected if we don’t act.

“Oldham’s location, high on the Pennine plateau, means our roads are more susceptible to cold weather damage than other boroughs.
We’re doing our bit, but the road infrastructure is a national programme that requires a national response from central government.”

Oldham council has already committed a further £2m to pothole and road repairs, but it's not enough to fix all the problem areas.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and transport board, said: “Unless something changes many councils will struggle to keep on top of repairs. If they have their funding cut further or face another severe winter, the impact on our already crumbling roads could be catastrophic.”

The CTC already runs a campaign, Fill That Hole, with an accompanying smartphone app that allows riders to snap a photo of a hole and send its location to the local council.

The campaign site says: "Potholes can be more than a nuisance. They can be a danger to cyclists and others. In the UK, there’s an average of one road defect for every 110 metres of road."

It currently receives around 33 reports of holes every day, and estimates that nearly a third of them are subsequently fixed.


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