FLOODING has caused at least £2 million of damage to roads in Wiltshire, according to early estimates.
Wiltshire Council is spending £250,000 repairing potholes before the forecast drop in temperatures and has been sending out pothole hit squads to tackle them as they are reported.
John Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said: “The prolonged period of heavy rain and flooding has clearly damaged our road network – estimated at up to £2 million. The risk is that figure will increase rapidly and significantly if a forecast cold spell causes the water still in the potholes to freeze.
“Therefore, we are using the window of opportunity now that the worst of the flooding is abating to redeploy some of those teams to filling potholes, with the priority on those where there is a clear safety issue to road users.”
He added: “Getting teams out repairing damage caused by the heavy rain is clearly a sensible thing to do in the short-term. However, the best way to reduce potholes and other damage to our roads is through long-term investment and that is why we as a council are spending that additional £52 million over the next six years to ensure Wiltshire’s roads are not just maintained but improved.”
Over the past two weeks, Wiltshire Council has dealt with more than 1,000 flooding-related incidents across the county.
The four teams of Balfour Beatty roadworkers are using a water-based material that can be put in to potholes even when they are full of water. They are also concentrating on damage that can be repaired quickly without the need to close the road.
Wiltshire is set to spend £52 million over the next six years to resurface 150 miles of its 2,750-mile network.
People can report potholes and damage to the council through the MyWiltshire app, via CLARENCE and by calling 0300 456 0105.