"£1m needed" to fix Wigan's pothole crisis

A massive pothole on Woodland Avenue in Hindley Green
A massive pothole on Woodland Avenue in Hindley Green

A concerned resident says the borough’s pothole problem is so severe the council needs to double its level of investment.

John Thomason is calling for £1m to be spent on Wigan’s roads, saying the £500,000 announced by Lord Peter Smith at the Budget meeting will not nearly go far enough.

Mr Thomason has been alerted by frustrated drivers and residents in Hindley and Hindley Green to some truly monstrous potholes.

One of the worst offenders is a crater spotted on Woodland Avenue which is between six and eight inches deep.

Other blackspots include Lord Street, where he says the road is literally splitting in two as previous repairs begin to buckle under the strain.

Mr Thomason acknowledges the council’s engineers have only been able to do patch-up jobs through the winter months, while cold and wet weather has taken its toll.

He now wants reassurance that engineers will be carrying out long-term fixes as soon as conditions warm up.

However, Wigan Council has vigorously defended its actions on potholes, saying more than 200 have been repaired in the last fortnight alone.

Mr Thomason said: “If you are being generous the pothole on Woodland Avenue is six inches deep. Parts of it must be around eight inches. It was surrounded by debris.

“That is by far the worst problem, though I would say there are around half a dozen flashpoints.

“Patch-ups have been done on a few of them. I appreciate the weather wouldn’t have helped but in the next couple of weeks, touch wood, things will improve and we will see full repairs.

“Things have been done in a piecemeal fashion. Lord Street in Hindley Green is a good example: it hasn’t been repaired properly and now it’s hole after hole after hole with the road surface wearing away.

“I’m fighting for a £1m investment. Let’s sort this problem properly. The £500,000 announced is a start and will nip some problems in the bud but my fear is that it isn’t enough. The roads need more substantial investment and longer-term work.”

Wigan Council has responded by strongly defending its road-repairing record.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure and regulatory services, said: “Each winter we see an increase in potholes across the borough due to the wet and cold conditions and every council is currently facing the same issues. We have doubled the amount of teams fixing potholes from five to 10.

“With the extra investment we are repairing as many as we can, as quickly as possible, alongside our annual programme of highway maintenance. In the last two weeks we have filled 235 potholes. We spend more than £1m maintaining our 1,100km of roads and mend 14,000 road defects each year.”

Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith said at the budget meeting the borough is rated by the Department for Transport as having some of the best roads in the country.

The town hall is also waiting to see if it will receive any of a £100m repair pot announced by the Government.