'Derbyshire has the best roads in the country'

The number of potholes on roads in Derbyshire has decreased considerably, according to the county council. Stock image.
The number of potholes on roads in Derbyshire has decreased considerably, according to the county council. Stock image.

A drive to repair potholes on Derbyshire roads has led to a near 80% decrease in recorded faults over the last year, according to the county council.

In a national survey, the routes they look after have been ranked the best for user satisfaction of any county council area in the country.

The local authority said that improving the conditions of roads is a 'key commitment' - proved by an additional £6million being put into the road maintenance budget.

The county council's latest figures show that at the end of October there were 539 highways defects − including potholes, sunken ironworks, damaged kerbs and gullies - awaiting repair.

This was a 78.6% reduction from the 2,515 faults awaiting repair at the same time in 2016.

Results of the 2017 National Highways and Transport Network residents' satisfaction survey ranked the county council top for road maintenance out of 31 county councils taking part in the survey.

The authority were singled out for praise on how effectively they fix potholes, the condition of the road surfaces and how quickly they repaired damaged roads and pavements.

Councillor Simon Spencer, cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: "We know that potholes and other damage on our roads are a great concern to motorists which is why we have made fixing them a top priority.

"We identified the roads in the worst condition and during the summer used extra road gangs and specialist machinery to target these defect hotspots."

Coun Spencer added: "As we head into the winter season the work carried out over the summer will stand us in good stead to deal with future potholes and other road faults as we become aware of them. And while the progress we have made is promising we will not become complacent − continuing to offer an improved service to keep our roads safe and reliable for all road users."

Derbyshire County Council is responsible for the upkeep of around 3,500 miles of road.

Since May around 130 miles of Derbyshire's roads have been re-laid or surface dressed with chippings to seal the road and prevent cracks and potholes forming.

The county council has pledged to spend the extra £6m on 'prevention rather than cure' pro-active road maintenance to stop roads and other highway infrastructure falling into a state where major works are essential.

The cash is being used to patch the road to stop potholes forming. Line markings and signage will also be upgraded, there will be more tree, hedge and verge cutting and drainage clearance aimed at upgrading overall road and footway conditions.