Potholes in Cheshire east

Potholes need to be deeper in Cheshire East than in most other British boroughs before the council intervenes, a new study has found.

The RAC Foundation submitted Freedom of Information requests to each local authority in September 2018, and 190 responded with enough data for the charity’s research.

It found that Cheshire East Council was one of 26 councils that only intervenes on potholes that are at least 50mm deep.

But the council says it is reviewing its policy and potholes in line with new national guidelines – and that minimum depth figure could be set to change.

A CEC spokesman said: “The council takes the safety of its road users and residents extremely seriously and our highways service repaired 12,263 defects between April and December 2018 – an average of 1,363 repairs per month.

“Under the new national code of practice councils can apply a revised ‘investigatory’ assessment, rather than immediate intervention.

“Between July 3 and August 27, 2018, CEC carried out a public consultation and is reviewing policy and assessing the minimum depth at which it will investigate a highway defect.

“The current minimum intervention depth of 50mm was agreed when the council – as a new unitary authority – was established in 2009 and is within a nationally recognised set of safety guidelines for all local authorities to follow.

“The borough is geographically large. Its 2,700km of roads are used by increasing volumes of traffic, much of which is heavy commercial.”

A majority of councils – 104 – wait until a pothole is 40mm deep to intervene according to the RAC Foundation, while one waits until the pothole is 45mm deep.

A further 37 councils intervene when a pothole is between 20mm and 30mm deep, while eight wait until the pothole is between 30mm and 40mm deep.

Neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester Council also had a minimum depth of 50mm according to the research.

However, the council reduced that figure to 40mm last autumn, in line with other nearby councils Warrington, Trafford and Staffordshire.

CEC’s existing policy for addressing road defects can be found in its code of practice at here.

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