Pothole pain is uncovered

21 Sep 2023 12:52
Published by: Scott Callan

NORRIS Road in Sale has been named as the most complained about road in Trafford for potholes and damaged surfaces.
It was highlighted in an annual report into the conditions of the local road network in Greater Manchester published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
This year’s research, using Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, also reveals that Trafford received 3,419 complaints concerning roads and highway defects, with 115 legal claims recorded.
The FSB study looked at how much councils across Greater Manchester budgeted for road repairs, versus how much they actually spent, and crucially, how many complaints they received from members of the public about potholes. The report revealed that Trafford Council also spent its entire annual £2,058,000 budget for road repairs.
However, it also showed that half of Greater Manchester’s 10 councils are still failing to spend their allocated road repair budget in 2022/23 – thought this was an improvement on the previous year’s figure of seven.
Wigan had the largest underspend this year, spending only 75 per cent of allocated funds on repairs than it budgeted for – despite chalking up 2,568 pothole complaints. Manchester City Council was the standout performer in terms of overall declining number of complaints, with 5,573 grumbles this year compared to 9,628 on the previous year – a reduction of 4,055.
However, it still was the council area with the highest number of complaints in Greater Manchester overall.
David Sudworth, FSB area leader for Greater Manchester, said local road networks underpin the viability of the regional economy, and this year’s results – while a mixed bag – were on the whole encouraging.
He added: “Most small businesses need free flowing, well-maintained road networks to operate smoothly. It’s as simple as that. This year’s figures suggest an improving picture in GM, with seven out of the 10 councils here doing better this year than the last in terms of pothole complaints.”
He added: “It’s also clear that councils, like Stockport and Manchester, who have invested big sums in repairs, have seem similarly huge improvements, but that’s not rocket science.
“Slightly concerning is that some councils are still not spending their full budgeted allocations. Road users in those areas – particularly where potholes are fairly common – will rightly have questions.”
He added: “While a well-maintained road network may be seen by some as a ‘nice to have’, they’re actually rather important.
“Everybody relies on the road network in one way or another, whether that’s getting to work by bus, car or bike, or for businesses to get their goods in and out on time.
“Our roads, paid for by our taxes, are our most important transport asset, and authorities must continue to invest in them.”

You may be interested in