As a result of the extreme winter weather in 2010/11, which caused major deterioration to roads, Central Government identified additional funding of £200 million to assist local authorities with repairs. Northumberland County Council was allocated £3.1million from the fund as a revenue grant to be used to repair the roads in the county
Northumberland County Council (NCC) welcomes the grant from the Department for Transport and acknowledges the significant impact this has made in allowing us to repair our road network.
In Northumberland the Highways Operations team is responsible for the general maintenance of the 3,500 miles of highway network, with an asset value in excess of £5 billion.
The funding was shared throughout our three operational areas to enable us to carry out more effective permanent repairs as well as preventative measures before roads deteriorate to a level requiring routine repairs.
Approximately £1.1 million from the £3.1 million funding allocation has been spent on necessary safety repairs. Large numbers of temporary and permanent pothole repairs have already been carried out to the county’s road network post winter 2010. Figures recorded in 2010/11 showed that we experienced twice as many potholes than a usual winter.
Along with our own dedicated highway response teams, the council employed Velocity UK Ltd, a company specialising in pothole repairs. Their repair process uses compressed air to fill the pothole with a mixture of stone aggregate and bitumen; this proved highly effective in dealing with the large number of defects.
The remaining £2 million of funding available is currently being spent on the following categories of both permanent and preventative maintenance measures
- Resurfacing and permanent patching works, worth approximately £1.5 million. An additional 24 sites have been added to the current year’s surfacing programme together with a schedule of permanent patching works to strategically important routes.
- An additional eight sites were added to the annual surface dressing programme, committing an approximate £250,000.
- £180,000 is to be used for drainage repairs, including a schedule of ditching and grip cutting operations, scheduled to be carried out this autumn.
- The remaining £70,000 has been targeted to repair flagged footways that were affected by frost heave during the extreme cold spell.
All works are scheduled for completion before the end of March 2012.