There’s a ‘hole’ lot of trouble on county’s roads

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The number of reports about potholes on Lincolnshire’s roads has more than tripled in the last three years.

Figures released recently show Lincolnshire County Council received 23,000 reports last year - compared to 7,000 in 2015.

That total is expected to increase again in 2018 with the council estimating it will complete 40,000 repairs.

The figures come as highways chiefs confirmed a new and improved system for reporting potholes is about to be introduced.

Richard Davies, Executive Councillor for Highways, told Horncastle town councillors that the previous system - operated by Serco - was not up to scratch.

Without going into detail, Coun Davies confirmed the Serco arrangement had been scrapped.

He said: “I don’t want to open up a can of worms about the issues we’ve had with Serco. Needless to day, we took back the system from them at the end of last year.

“We have moved onto a new system - ‘Fix My Street’ . The test site is live and will be soon be in public use.”

Coun Davies stressed the new system would make it easier for people to report and track pothole issues.

He added: “There will be a mobile phone app as well. You will be able to sign in and register. There will be feedback. People will be able to see where a specific issue has been reported - and what action is being taken.”

Horncastle’s mayor Coun Brian Burbidge welcomed confirmation the new system would soon be operational, telling Coun Davies the previous one was ‘not fit for purpose’.

Meanwhile, Coun Davies defended the county council over the number of roads being dug up for repairs - other than potholes.

Several town councillors - including Maurice Lamb - questioned why different utility companies could not complete works at the same time.

Coun Lamb also asked why temporary traffic lights were often left operating at weekends, with no contractors in sight.

He said: “We’ve all seen these lights and miles of cones but no work is actually going on. They cause delays and frustration - and for what?”

Coun Davies said: “We’d love to have power over people who dig up the road. Sadly, we don’t.

“Getting hold of these people, we have to use the same numbers as members of the public. It’s incredibly frustrating.”

Coun Davies insisted the issue had improved after the launch of an LCC ‘ permit and street works’ team.

He explained the team was responsible for monitoring what work was being carried and when - and the standard of the repairs .

He ruled out the option of fining utility companies who failed to meet deadlines - or standards.

Coun Davies added: “Fines don’t bother them. They generate millions.”