How much does it cost to fill in a pot hole?

It would appear, from reading the available information, that the new cabinet would like to push through a policy putting £450,000 into a budget that would value the filling of a pot hole at £700* each? Does that sound right to you? (Read the minutes down the page)

As an Independent Councillor in opposition to the Conservative majority, it is my job to hold the current administration to account. £700 per pot hole sounds like a lot of money to me… is that really the best value for money / solution available?

1 minutes research on the internet would tell you that the average cost of filling in a pot hole, in the UK is £55… so why are RBWM pot holes worth 13x that amount? Perhaps we’re just unlucky! You could ask your local Conservative councillor?

The minutes would indicate, cabinet are claiming they pledged it during the elections, it is what the people want and so they need to deliver their commitment…

I’m not sure if the Conservative party noticed but before the elections they had more seats in the council… 54 of the 57 seats were Conservative in 2015… today just 23 of the 41 seats… that’s 94.7% v 56.1% a 40% drop in the number of elected Conservative councillors.

So perhaps the pledges were missing the spot and not what people wanted afterall?

Is £700 per pot hole a good use of the public purse? Could that money be better spent on other initiatives to maintain and improve the current road infrastructure?

One alternative option, there will be more choices if procurement reached out to the market place, is this nifty piece of equipment… “The Dalek”

The equipment is around £200,000 that’s less than half of the proposed budget allowance. Perhaps RBWM could lease it out for 1 out of 4 weeks to other local councils bringing down our own costs in the process?

Another, Velocity patching…

Personally I think all the options need exploring a little deeper before any final decisions are made on how the £450,000 should be spent… what’s your take on this decision?

Times are changing. No longer can the Conservative marginal majority simply make a decision and know it will go unchallenged. They need to start discussing their vision of the future so it can encapsulate some of the independent councillors’ views on what residents actually would like to see…

Thank you.

Cllr Jon Davey
Clewer & Dedworth West

* The £700 is obtained by taking all the reported potholes categorised P1, P2 & P3 for Jan, Feb & Mar = 160 annualised = 640 and dividing that into the budget of £450,000.

The minutes of last week’s cabinet meeting say >>>

Proposed Revisions to the Highways Maintenance Management Plan – 24 Hour Pothole Response PDF

The Lead Member for Infrastructure, Transport Policy and Housing introduced the report that asked for a revision to the Highways Maintenance Management Plan to enable every carriageway pothole to be repaired within 24 hours.

The Lead Member informed that he was delighted to be presenting the report that fulfilled one of the administration’s pledges of investing more than £50 million in RBWM highways and pavements over the next four years, fixing every reported pothole within 24 hours and introducing an inspection regime for every road every year. This was a ‘Best in Berkshire Pot Hole Pledge’.

Cabinet were informed that this was an extension of the existing policy and that when a road was inspected if it was deemed that the condition of the road was such that resurfacing was more appropriate than fixing a pothole then this would take priority.

The proposals were being put to Cabinet as this was a key priority for residents and improvements would further enhance the boroughs infrastructure, benefiting cyclists and other road users.

Cllr Hill informed Cabinet that he felt that the recommendation should be amended as it a pothole was not being repaired within 24 hours due to the condition of the road than this was not fulfilling the pledge.

Cllr Hill supported improvement to the road infrastructure but noted that insurance claims were down and that the number of potholes currently not fixed within 24 hours was about 500 per year. He felt that adding an additional £450,000, equating to about £900 per pothole repair, was a lot of money when the council was overspent.

The Chairman informed that it was anticipated that there would be more reported potholes and following this increase we should reach a base level of repairs required due to adverse weather conditions. The main priority was to implement residents wishes and if further funding was required then a further report would be brought before members.

The Lead Member for Culture, Communities and Windsor informed that this was an excellent paper delivering what our residents wanted. She highlighted the new ‘report it’ section on the RBWM website that made reporting potholes and other issues easier.

Resolved unanimously: That Cabinet notes the report and:
i) Approves a revision to the Highways Maintenance Management Plan to enable every carriageway pothole over 40mm, or footway defect over 25mm to be repaired within 24 working hours regardless of the category of road, at an additional annual cost of £450,000.

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