Kent fills in a WHOPPING 31,000 potholes

  Kent's road repair crews have fixed a WHOPPING 31,000 potholes since the start of the year. And from Monday 8 March, Kent Highway Services further increased the number of gangs fixing potholes to 70 after diverting more crews from non-emergency work to tackle the unprecedented workload on a 'find and fix' basis. This means that all potholes on a stretch of road are filled at the same time. The high rate of repairs – in February they filled more than 20,500 potholes, compared with 8,400 in February 2009 – follows the harshest winter for three decades. But they still have plenty more to do. Kent Highway Services is urging drivers to adjust their driving habits due to the number of potholes on the roads. During this cold weather, potholes are continuing to develop and drivers need to become more aware of their surroundings, slow down and anticipate the unexpected. Kent County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste Nick Chard said: "We are focusing all our efforts on repairing potholes, but while we are fixing the damage left by the snow and ice there are still a lot of potholes on the roads – and drivers need to be prepared for this and drive with extra care. "We have pushed even more resources into tackling potholes by diverting more crews from non-emergency work to boost our campaign. We are doing this so that we can respond directly to what Kent's residents are telling us is their number one priority." At the moment Kent County Council is also recruiting small and medium-sized road repair firms so that from April, when the weather is milder, potholes can be fixed even more quickly. As expected, the severe weather spell has been followed by a rise in compensation claims for damaged caused by potholes. Since Christmas more than 1,600 claims have been submitted to the council. Nick Chard added: "We will look at these claims and assess them in a firm and fair way. We also want residents and drivers to report potholes to us, so that we can get the best possible picture of where the problems are."  

To report a fault, contact Kent Highway Services on 08458 247 800 or go online to www.kent.gov.uk/highways While Kent Highway Services is concentrating on tackling potholes, other non-urgent highway maintenance will be scheduled to a later date. This will not affect the maintenance of street lights, drainage and response to urgent safety issues.
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