Pothole peril soaring for drivers
GARAGE owner David Drew knows all about potholes.
His staff deal with cars that have been damaged by them on an almost daily basis – a huge rise from 20 years ago.
He said: "Back then we'd replace about ten springs a year on cars. Now we're nearly getting one car a day which needs new springs."
He added: "The last two to three years have been particularly bad and people don't realise what damage is being done until something breaks.
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"The number of potholes has clearly gone up and the number of cars suffering this kind of damage has too. It's, at best, an inconvenience for drivers and, at worst, dangerous."
Notts County Council spends around £2.8 million a year repairing potholes and, as previously reported in the Post, is planning to spend an extra £1m in the next financial year.
The authority has recorded tens of thousands of reports of potholes since April – and expects the total figure to reach 32,443 by April 1, nearly 3,500 more than in 2009-10 and 2011-12, but 2,000 fewer than in 2010-11 when there was a particularly severe winter.
The number reported by the public is at its highest for the last four years at 9,211, up from 2,282 in 2009-10.
"We work extremely hard all year round to repair the damage to our roads," said Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council's transport and highways committee.
"However, I would encourage members of the public to report potholes, rather than simply assume that someone else has done it."
The city council has also seen a spike in the number of potholes reported by the public – the figure for this financial year already stands at 683, compared to 571 in the whole of 2011-12.
But the amount it is spending has not increased. In 2011-12, the council fixed around 2,500 potholes at a cost of £90,000, but so far this year it has only fixed 1,032 at a cost of £62,662.
Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for transport, said: "We recognise that the upkeep of the city's road network is important to keep traffic flowing but this is becoming increasingly difficult as we face yet another year of significant cuts in Government funding."
Potholes are one of the most common causes for complaint for Post readers, with several contacting us in the last week.
Amy Scott sent in a picture of pothole she hit in Manvers Street, Sneinton, close to the Gem 106 building. She had to have a new tyre fitted.
Lydia Reyes also contacted the Post and said: "I was driving towards Heanor and just after the train station in Langley Mill a drain in the road had fallen through a good five or six inches and was like that for about two weeks.
"When my car went over it, it made the loudest noise and made me panic. Now when I turn full lock to the left my car creaks and clanks as a result. It's driveable but I don't know what may happen long term."
You can report a pothole to the county council at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk or on 0300 5008080. In the city, visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/highways.