June 13, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Record number of potholes filled as crews tackle more than 500 each day

Prolonged heavy rain over the last six months has led to a record number of potholes on Cornwall’s roads.

Downpours between October and April have had a dramatic impact, with more than 45,000 potholes reported in 2023/24 – double the number for 2022/23.

In response, Cornwall Highways – which manages Cornwall’s 7,300km network on the Council’s behalf – has more than doubled the number of crews working on our roads from 15 to 33. Between them, they’re regularly filling more than 500 potholes across Cornwall each day. 

Safety is always paramount and the timescale for repair depends on the severity of the pothole and its location. For example, deep potholes on an ‘A’ road carrying heavy traffic will be repaired quicker than a shallow pothole on an unclassified rural road. The more urgent are repaired within 48 hours while others posing less concern will be repaired within 28 days. 

Overall, Cormac crews repaired more than 72,500 highway defects in 2023/24 – including potholes, cracked road surfaces, broken manhole covers and damaged or blocked gullies.   

Richard Williams-Pears, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said:

“I can appreciate the concerns from residents over the number of potholes and defects on our roads and I’d like to reassure everyone that teams are working incredibly hard to tackle these issues, which have been exacerbated by the unprecedented amount of rainfall.  

“Cornwall Council is responsible for a vast highway network – if it were stretched out in a line it would cover a distance from Land’s End to Vancouver. We can’t fix everything all at once, but we do fix the most urgent within 48 hours, and in fact more than half of these are filled within 24 hours.  

“Prevention is better than cure and this year we’re investing £14.5m into road resurfacing and highways maintenance to help stop potholes from forming in the first place.” 

Steve Bayley, network manager for Cornwall Highways, said:

“Every effort is being made to keep up with the constant demand and crews are out in all weathers carrying out repairs.  

“Our inspectors regularly check the network for potholes and other highway defects. Residents can also report issues to us direct through the Report It pages on Cornwall Council’s website – you can also request to be kept updated on the progress of the repair. 

“On some occasions we may initially make a temporary repair – for example where the pothole is in the middle of busy road and traffic management is needed or if the road is due to be resurfaced.” 

Report a pothole or highway defect