Pothole of the Week: Banburyshire roads are getting worse

Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133752009
Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133752009

The worsening state of the roads in north Oxfordshire has resulted in a flood of reports to the county council’s Fix My Street website.

However many frustrated drivers complain their reports are being ignored.

Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133803009

Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133803009

Cropredy resident Rachel Dean said highways inspectors told her the holes on her street ‘did not meet requirements’.

“I reported numerous potholes I have to avoid but I am not having a good response. I am informed a lot of them ‘do not meet the requirements’ to be fixed. I would be interested to know just how big the holes have to be to meet the requirements.

“The whole end of our cul de sac is disintegrating but they have just ignored it when marking potholes for filling.

“We all pay our road tax – why can’t this money be used to repair the roads and make them fit to drive on?”

Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133740009

Potholes at North Newington near Banbury. NNL-180602-133740009

A Banbury reader reported that county council officials have said the badly damaged surface at the Bloxham Road junction with Oxford Road will not be ‘patched’ until the next financial year.

Many contacting the Banbury Guardian admit to weaving all over the road to avoid potholes and risking damage to their vehicles.

Oxfordshire County Council announced it had received nearly £1m from the Department of Transport ‘in recognition of damage done to the roads by bad weather’.

A county council spokesman said: “The county council has a team of inspectors who go out and assess each report made by members of the public and decide whether action is required.

“We have limited resources which we have to target and prioritise. We have recently increased the resources that we are putting into tackling problems on the roads caused by this current winter.

“We welcome members of the public reporting problems to us and our contractors have been out making repairs in response to these reports in recent weeks and will continue to do so.

“There is information on our website which gives a broad guide to our criteria, however our inspectors can also use their judgement.”

Potholes must be ‘as big as a dustbin lid’ to be repaired

Cash-strapped Oxfordshire County Council is faced with a monumental task in trying to keep up with the problem of disintegrating road surfaces.

Budget cuts have forced councillors to prioritise responsibilities such as child protection and social care over fixing potholes.

However the £1.8m potholes budget has been boosted by extra government cash to deal with the eruption of roads around the county this winter.

The authority’s web page Fix My Street shows maps peppered with images denoting reports of seriously bad potholes. But holes must meet certain criteria to reach the threshold for inclusion on the ‘to do’ list.

The site says: “Potholes may need urgent attention if they are more than 40 millimetres (1.6in) in depth and/or 120 millimetres (4.7in) wide.”

The county’s simple guide offers the following comparisons:

• The depth of a milk bottle

• The size of a dustbin lid

• The depth of a tennis ball, size of a dinner plate and on a busy carriageway

• The depth of a Coke can on a pathway or busy carriageway

• The depth of a Coke can and the size of a dinner plate on a quiet carriageway.

If a pothole has been outlined with paint it has already been inspected by the team and programmed to be fixed, so you don’t need to report it.

The level of response is dependent on the location, size and risk the pothole poses to public safety.