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Filling you in about the new pothole definition

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Filling you in about the new pothole definition

How deep does a pothole need to be before the council will fill it in?

This is a question which Lambeth Council has obviously given serious thought to. The London authority has just decided that a hole has to be at least 1.5 inches deep before they will send someone to repair it.

Councils across Britain are expected to follow Lambeth's lead in a manoeuvre which immediately attracted criticism from those who say the new definition is a dangerous cost-cutting measure.

Road users who suffer an accident caused by a poorly-maintained road can seek compensation with the help of No Win No Fee solicitors such as Claims Direct.

Lambeth's new 1.5 inch pothole definition should ease the workload of the councils' road repair team – previously holes as shallow as 0.98 inches were filled in.

Other councils' pothole policies

An article published in The Daily Telegraph in March 2010, highlighted how every council currently has its own definition of how deep a pothole must be before it merits filling in.

Lambeth's 1.5 inch definition looks very generous compared to Cheshire West and Chester where a pothole must be 2 inches deep before it is repaired.

In Bath and North East Somerset, the council is far more pro-active; springing into action if a pothole exceeds 1.2 inches.

Golf balls, dinner plates and dustbin lids

Other councils have easier ways to help road users know how large a pothole needs to be before the man with the bucket of tar is sent out. Gloucestershire potholes must be the depth of a “golf ball (1.6 inches) and the width of “a large dinner plate” (11.8 inches).

In Suffolk and Gloucestershire potholes on minor roads should be the size of a “dustbin lid”.

Potholes: the facts and figures

  • There are estimated to be ten potholes for every mile of road – making the British road system a minefield of potholes.
  • Earlier this year, a survey by Kwik Fit discovered that almost four out of every ten drivers had to take “evasive action” to avoid driving into a dangerous pothole over the last year.
  • David Cameron's administration recently released a further £100 million to help councils fix potholes after a second successive harsh winter. A recent survey conducted by shadow roads minister John Woodcock estimates that £13.4 million is needed.

'Knackered' road surfaces

Mr Woodcock said: “Instead of continually patching up knackered road surfaces with a bucket of tar we need a proper strategic plan for local roads which could save taxpayers' money a fortune in the long term.”

Potholes, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, cost an average of £53.81 to repair, so the time to act is now – before the problem of potholes deepens even further.

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