Crying fowl over pothole menace!

An interesting way to try to tackle the menace of potholes
An interesting way to try to tackle the menace of potholes

A Wigan company is hoping a quirky - or should that be quacky? - approach to highlighting potholes will lead to improvements for motorists.

Roofing and infrastructure solutions firm IKO is encouraging residents to place rubber ducks in particularly bad road surfaces and tweet the pictures to local authorities.

They hope the #nomorepotholes campaign will spur town halls across the country to invest in long-term upgrades.

Participants are urged to heed safety warnings though before taking part and should only place the yellow ducks when the coast is clear.

IKO managing director Andy Williamson said: “Year on year we’re seeing the same potholes appearing, getting fixed and reappearing shortly afterwards in a never-ending cycle.

“Some councils use a quick-to-apply traditional material which doesn’t last. A costly and ineffective process, it wastes taxpayers’ money and endangers road-users.”

The Appley Bridge-based firm lists infrastructure solutions among its areas of expertise and suggests mastic asphalt should be used in road resurfacing.

Mr Williamson added: “Please help us highlight this issue - which affects us all.

“We can make an impact with this campaign, one duck at a time.”

The #nomorepotholes scheme comes amid warnings the nation’s road network is overrun with sub-standard surfaces.

Figures published by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed it would now take 14 years to clear the backlog of road repairs in England (excluding London), compared with 10.9 years in 2006

The organisation, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, including Wigan, said almost two million potholes are fixed each year.

The Department for Transport has committed £6 billion for English councils to improve local roads over the current Parliament, in addition to a £50 million-a-year pothole action fund.

In Wigan, the number of motorists claiming for damage to vehicles caused by potholes pales in comparison to other local authorities.

Wigan Council forked out £1,579 on the four successful claims last year, much less than neighbouring Lancashire County Council which paid out £38,629 from 96 successful claims. Wigan’s rate of successful claims last year was eight per cent.