Potholes in the road really do cause a considerable amount of trouble at this time of year and leave the public pretty angry too. It’s close to being the number one bugbear and I fear this year’s bad weather is not going to make it any better. It’s such a big nuisance that there’s even a website dedicated to them at http://www.potholes.co.uk – a real mine of information, including advice on how to claim for damage to cars.
On a more serious note, potholes can cause accidents – particularly for cyclists – and a car damaged could mean a hard working motorist is out of pocket, and that’s no laughing matter. It’s also costing lots of public money, as around £23.8 million was paid in compensation by local authorities across England last year due to the poor condition of their roads, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance.
Saying that, I don’t think the situation is as bad in Hampshire as in other areas of the country – including some neighbouring counties.
There is no doubt that several recent bad winters and the economic situation have led to problems, but the Government has provided £3.4 billion to local authorities from 2011 to 2015 for road maintenance and says that, if the cash is used wisely by them, there shouldn’t be a problem. But one of the major issues is that councils need to be able to target potholes in a more efficient way. Now, there are some pretty talented people at the county council but no-one, I believe, has a magic ball telling them where the damage is. The fact is the council can only fill a pothole if they know about it. If you want it repaired, you need to report it.
This can be done by contacting Hampshire County Council. They have a webpage dedicated to pothole reporting at: http://roadenquiries.hants.gov.uk/roadproblems/highwaydefect/pothole.aspx Or call them on 0845 603 5633.
The Department for Transport has also pledged £30,000 to further develop a smart phone app for Android called Fill that Hole that has been used by cyclists on iphone since 2010 to report potholes. It should be in wider use next month, which is apparently the start of the ‘pothole season’.
More information about the app can be found at: http://www.fillthathole.org.uk
George Hollingbery MP
Member of Parliament for Meon Valley
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary House of Commons │London │SW1A OAA │Tel: 0207 219 7109 or Constituency Office: 01962 734076 http://www.georgehollingbery.com