04:30PM, Friday 07 February 2020
Cllr Andrew Johnson pictured when the council launched its 24-hour pothole fixing pledge.
The council is ‘scaling back’ on a project to fix potholes on roads within 24 hours.
Cllr Jon Davey, (WWRA, Clewer and Dedworth West) asked councillors about the Conservatives’ election pledge of a 24-hour pothole fix at the corporate services overview and scrutiny panel meeting on Tuesday.
In June, the council voted for £450,000 to go to road contractors for work on potholes but Cllr Davey noticed that this was not included in the budget for 2020/21.
Lead member for transport and infrastructure, Cllr Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham), said that the 24-hour scheme was no longer considered necessary because all the potholes covered by the plan will have been fixed by the end of this financial year.
The £450,000 put forward to fix potholes was only ‘a one-off splurge, a crack-down on potholes,’ said Cllr Clark. The sum was intended to deal with a backlog of problematic potholes in the borough, he added.
The scheme aimed to fix only those potholes causing significant delays in the area – those with a 40mm depth on carriageways and 25mm on footways. Of the 471 such potholes reported September to December last year, all 471 were fixed.
Speaking after the meeting, leader of the council, Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams), said that the 24-hour response will not disappear completely, but rather the council would now be ‘scaling back’ to cover just those roads on which breakdowns could be more costly than swiftly dealing with potholes. He added that there was ‘no definite policy’ yet.
However, leader of the local independents, Cllr Lynne Jones (OWRA, Old Windsor), has said that this system is much the same as the system that the borough had before the proposed 24-hour fixing service.
“It’s not actually going to affect anybody,” she said. “We already had a reasonable amount of potholing. The only difference is that they can’t put words to this 24-hour service, because the money’s not there.”
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