Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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Fake news?

by Susan van de Ven on 15 July, 2018

We are now told that Cambridgeshire roads and paths are no longer in a state of ‘Managed Decline’ and it is not necessary to augment the inspection regime currently in place. It’s not clear when this magical turnaround happened. Roads like Tower Close Bassingbourn  are apparently in a decent state. Here’s the reply to my question for Tuesday’s full council meeting.

Question from Councillor van de Ven:

Given the state of ‘managed decline’ of the County Highway network, which is reflected in the dramatic jump in numbers of pot holes reported and compensation claims made thus far in 2018, should the County Council be reviewing and increasing its network inspection schedules?

Response from Councillor Mathew Shuter Chairman of Highways and Community Infrastructure Policy and Service Committee:

Assessment of the overall condition of our roads over the past 10 years shows that they are in a broadly steady state condition, largely as a result of the extra investment that we have made. The existing situation is therefore not one of managed decline.

In common with numerous other counties, Cambridgeshire’s roads suffered extensive damage following the severe winter of 2017/18. As is reflected across the country, this has resulted in the formation of an exceptional number of potholes. Council officers and Skanska colleagues have worked together closely to address this issue and significant progress has and continues to be made.

Inspections of the county’s roads for dangerous defects are carried out at intervals as set out in the approved asset management policies. It is these inspections that constitute a key part of the Council’s defence to third party claims. In addition to these safety inspections, the network is constantly monitored by the Local Highways Officers.

The work to address the exceptional situation following last winter has involved Local Highway Officers making an increased number of site visits. This has enabled investigation of reported potholes and marking for repair in accordance with our approved standards.

Where there are a number of potholes in close proximity, officers’ work with Skanska colleagues to assess for suitability for the Dragon Patcher. This has helped the effective and efficient repair of increased numbers of potholes, especially in rural areas.

In addition to these reactive pothole repairs, the Council continues to make significant investment into planned maintenance works, in accordance with the Authority’s asset management policies. It is this planned, preventative work which will help stop the formation of potholes and will continue to prevent the overall deterioration of the network.

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