Sidmouth pothole peril predicted

HIGHWAYS chiefs fear harsh winter weather will wreak pothole havoc on Sidmouth’s roads.

HIGHWAYS chiefs fear harsh winter weather will wreak pothole havoc on roads in Sidmouth and across Devon.

Devon County Council (DCC) filled record numbers of potholes last year and is concerned recent freezing temperatures will cause similar damage.

The authority repaired nearly 200,000 potholes and safety defects on its 8,000 mile road network in 2010- spending around �11 million.

Just 40,000 potholes were filled in 2009- which was double the usual amount for a ‘normal’ year.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highways and transportation, said this week: “It’s too early to predict to what extent the recent severe weather may have damaged our roads, but it’s likely to have again caused considerable damage for a third winter in a row.

“We still need members of the public to be our eyes and ears and report potholes to us because our road network is a vital asset for the local economy, local business and tourism.

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“Our teams are responding to these reports and over the coming weeks and months we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the situation.”

Temporary pothole repairs alone will have cost the tax-payer and DCC an estimated �6.6million by the end of the financial year. More than �7million is expected to have been spent repairing safety defects.

Devon received �3.6 million from the Department for Transport for the current financial year which is being spent on resurfacing sections of major roads where significant winter damage took place.

Driving experts have warned motorists over road conditions.

Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “Anticipation, planning and good forward vision will help you spot that lethal pothole and help avoid unwanted extra bills for new tyres and wheels.”

Potholes and safety defects can be reported to DCC at or by calling 0845 155 1004.