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£100m cash pot backlog to fix potholes
DO these drive you potty on the roads? Motorists across Taunton Deane find themselves weaving around potholes caused by the perfect recipe of freeze-and-thaw, followed by torrential rain.
The hotspots around Taunton are South Road, Galmington Road, Priorswood Road and Normandy Drive, along with dozens of other minor routes.
Somerset County Council, which is responsible for highways maintenance, says it has a backlog of work which was costed at around £100million when it was last calculated two years ago.
A spokesman said: “We’re committed to keeping up with our inspection regime and repairing any safety defects found to ensure that public safety is maintained and all the network remains open.
“Recent flooding has undoubtedly added to existing problems, but at this stage it’s impossible to tell the full extent of the damage as we still have some roads and bridges under water.”
A Freedom of Information request by the County Gazette last year revealed that almost £200,000 was paid out to motorists in Somerset who suffered injuries or damage to their vehicles caused by potholes in the past five years.
He said: “The pothole was full of water and you couldn't tell it was there until you hit it.”
This week, the Local Government Association urged ministers to set up an emergency fund to fix the UK road network, which it says was already suffering from a £10.5billion backlog before the latest storms arrived.
The UK has fallen from 24th to 28th in the world for the quality of its roads, according to the World Economic Forum, and is now level with Namibia, but below Cyprus and Chile in the league table.
The cost of fixing potholes in the South-West has already been put at £400million, and that figure will rise if the last week of January brings freezing temperatures.
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