Pothole repairs in Somerset 'increased by 40%'

A pothole 75% of the county's potholes are on 25% of its roads

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The number of potholes which have been repaired since the Conservatives took control of Somerset County Council has increased by just over 40%.

From June 2009, just under 32,000 have been repaired compared with 22,156 for the previous two years when the Liberal Democrats were in charge.

The repair of potholes was a key election pledge by the Conservatives.

Lib Dem leader Jill Shortland said more potholes had appeared because of poor road maintenance.

Harvey Siggs, the council's cabinet member for highways, said they had fulfilled their election promise.

"We said we would tackle potholes and we have done so.

"There's always potholes to fill. It's a never ending job and you can never actually get rid of them all."

Compensation paid out by council on road maintenance claims

  • 2008-2009: £31,218
  • 24 out of 434 unsettled claims remain
  • 2009-2010: £40,023
  • 54 out of 485 unsettled claims remain
  • 2010-2011: £6,894
  • 139 out of 160 unsettled claims remain

He said Somerset has 2,000 miles of roads, of which 75% of the potholes were on 25% of the roads.

Mr Siggs added the council had been carrying out an "aggressive" road surfacing plan which had "not only filled them, but prevented more from coming".

But Ms Shortland said the Tories had drastically reduced the money invested on roads.

She said there was no evidence to prove the county's roads were improving as she had not seen up-to-date survey figures for the roads.

She said although potholes were being repaired, the same ones would keep on reappearing as it was only the surface which was being fixed.

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