Wigan Council's pledge for rapid roads repair

Wigan Borough Council aims to repair dangerous potholes within two hours of being alerted
Wigan Borough Council aims to repair dangerous potholes within two hours of being alerted

Wigan Council aims to repair dangerous potholes within two hours of being alerted, data obtained by the RAC Foundation shows.

That’s the most common response time, with the slowest councils in the UK taking up to five days.

The council’s website reveals: “When you inform us of damage to a footway or carriageway, we will, wherever possible, make contact with you within one working day, and conclude the enquiry within a maximum of 10 working days.”

Hitting a pothole, or even swerving to avoid one, can ruin a car’s suspension, steering or tyres, according to the motoring organisation, the AA.

In extreme cases they can cause serious accidents.

In 2018, the AA estimated potholes cost drivers and insurance companies an eye-watering £12 million.

It said: “The pothole epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace.”

A Freedom of Information request by the RAC found that Wigan Borough Council determines how dangerous a pothole is by measuring its size and depth.

The local authority will only investigate potholes that are at least 4cm deep.

That applies regardless of whether the pothole is on a quiet lane or a major route.

The RAC Foundation recommends a different approach, assessing the impact of a pothole on road users over size.

Director Steve Gooding said: “The total number of potholes being filled in might still be limited by a shortage of funding, but this approach at least means those that are most dangerous are fixed first.

“Those particularly vulnerable to potholes – cyclists and motorcyclists – might ask whether the speed of pothole investigation should be based solely on the risk to users.”

Repairs for the least troublesome potholes in Wigan could take up to 10 days.

The Local Government Association called for more funding for council-controlled local roads.

Transport spokesman Coun Martin Tett said: “Keeping roads safe for all users is one of the most important jobs councils do.

“That’s reflected in the fact that local authorities are fixing a pothole every 21 seconds.”

He added that councils need “consistent and fairer government investment in local road maintenance”.

Wigan Council say all minor repairs identified from safety inspections are prioritised for action depending on their severity, location and the hierarchy of the road or footway.

They might include:

Raised flagstones

Kerbs

Potholes

Highway drains/gullies

Road markings

Highway grass verges and weeds

Fences, guardrails, crash barriers

Overgrown vegetation

Damaged, missing or uneven manhole covers.

To report a highway maintenance issue, visit www.wigan.gov.uk, register for MyAccount and select ‘Report It’.