Road wardens filling in for Devon County Council
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth’s first ‘road warden’ is singing the praises of a scheme that sees residents patch minor defects in Devon’s highways - as the county council is struggling to cover the costs.
Councillor Stuart Hughes is one of six volunteers using Instarmac, a simple-to-use material to fill potholes in their parishes and towns in a trial.
Devon County Council (DCC) has already trained around 60 people as road wardens to save maintenance fees.
Cllr Hughes, the authority’s highways chief, said: “We’ve all been shown how to carry out the repairs with the material and it seems to be a quick and easy way to deal with smaller potholes on minor roads before they develop into safety defects which the county council has to repair.
“There are many good examples of local communities working with us to help themselves, as our budgets from central Government are continuing to be reduced every year.
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“The road wardens are not replacing county council staff - their role is to help with more minor maintenance work that we can no longer do.”
Each road wardens will act as their area’s highways ‘champion’ – providing support accessing information, as well as organising and carrying out minor work such as weed clearance, grass cutting, sign cleaning and small drainage work.
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Repair of larger potholes that meet the safety defect criteria and other safety defect repairs on the highway will continue to be carried out by DCC.
Road wardens will be covered by its third party public liability insurance and will be able to use tools provided by the authority.
They will act as their town or parish’s primary point of contact with the council’s local neighbourhood highway officers.
The scheme builds on successful schemes already in place for public rights of way and the county’s snow wardens.