Derbyshire roads named amongst the worst in the country for potholes
Derbyshire was named as the second worst area in the country for the condition of its minor and rural roads, with almost half of them being recommended for maintenance.
New data released by the Department for Transport showed that the number of unclassified roads maintained by Derbyshire County Council where repair work should be considered rose from 21% to 43% between 2019-20 and 2020-21.
These figures rank Derbyshire’s roads as the second worst in the country, with only Hammersmith and Fulham’s being in poorer condition with 50% recommended for maintenance in the London borough.
There was also a small increase in the number of ‘A’ roads in the county where repairs should be considered. In 2019-20, it was 13%, but this grew to 17% in 2020-21.
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways assets and transport, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, said differences in how the conditions of roads were measured had made Derbyshire’s figures look worse in comparison to other local authorities.
“We do not collect road condition data in the same way as most other councils. This means that Derbyshire’s data is not comparable with others and therefore it is not accurate to compare the condition of roads in this way.
“Along with a few other councils, we use a new form of road survey, which provides more detail on the condition of our roads than traditional surveys, enabling us to target the money we have to the most appropriate roads.
“The figures published also do not reflect the huge amount of work we’ve done on our roads this year, and during lockdowns, when we filled in almost 117,000 potholes between May 2020 and June 2021. We are confident that the next published figures will show a vast improvement in the condition of our roads against even this new way of collecting information about their condition.”
Although DCC differs to many other councils in how it provides data on road conditions, no other authority that uses the same method saw such a large increase. In North Tyneside, only 5% of such roads were recommended for repairs, and in Oldham and Rochdale, their figures stood at 11% and 16% respectively.
Cllr Singh Athwal said DCC would be spending millions of pounds on road maintenance this year, with a focus on rural roads, and that external contractors would be used to allow for more projects to be completed.
“This year alone we will spend over £10m resurfacing and surface dressing 325 roads, far more than we have ever delivered before, with more than 300 of these roads being completed to date over the recent summer months. The remaining programme is on target to be completed before April and this includes many of our more rural roads, where we know we needed to do more work to bring them up to standard.
“Additionally, as well as using our own workforce, we have used external contractors more than ever before to support the council, so we can increase the amount of improvements we can make. The road resurfacing and surface dressing programme is part of a £120m programme of work on our roads over the next three years and we are already planning which roads will be repaired in 2022 and 2023, which will significantly improve the condition of the network.