General

Plans to increase road inspections by up to 200%

Road repairPlans to improve Surrey’s roads by increasing pothole inspections by up to 200% are set to be agreed at a meeting of the county council’s Cabinet next week.

Surrey’s busiest roads are inspected four times a year, but under the new proposals this would increase to once a month, making it easier to prioritise and plan resurfacing work.

The new approach also involves planning pothole repairs further in advance so that more permanent repairs can be made first time, instead of temporary fixes.

This improved planning would also make it easier for clusters of potholes to be repaired together, rather than revisiting a road to make repairs a small number or even one at a time.

Nonetheless, the two hour deadline for responding to potholes and other defects that pose a serious safety risk will remain.

The proposals come just weeks after the county council announced it will replace 310 miles of Surrey’s worst roads as part of a five-year, £100 million investment in highways called Operation Horizon. This will address a major priority for Surrey residents and businesses while helping to boost the economy.

John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “By inspecting our roads more often and through planning pothole repairs up to five days ahead, we can make more permanent fixes first time and set aside the time to repair more of the defects in a road at once.

“We make more temporary pothole repairs than we would like at the moment, because our workers are dashing from road to road each time one is reported. This clearly isn’t the most efficient way to work. It also means if workers discover other problems with a road when they are on site, they often don’t have time to fix them on the spot. These new proposals would help us address this.

“However, prevention is better than cure so we’re investing £100 million over five years in overhauling 310 miles of Surrey’s worst roads. This means our major road maintenance budget has gone from £12 million to £20 million a year.”

The plans also involve reviewing Surrey’s road classification system. This would see the county council’s roads split into five categories instead of three and the introduction of modern data to see which roads now carry the most traffic. This will mean the council is better placed to prioritise and plan repairs and improvements.

Members of Surrey County Council’s Cabinet will meet to discuss the proposals on Tuesday March 26. The plans form part of an overall reorganisation of the county council’s highways department which has resulted in annual savings of £8 million through more efficient working. Surrey’s approach has proven so successful that the county council is working with Government to improve the efficiency of highways maintenance nationally.

ENDS

Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley on 0208 541 7259 or at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk.

Members of the public with a questions about roads can visit http://www.surreycc.gov.uk or call 03456 009 009.

Notes to editors

Surrey County Council roads are currently broken down into four categories:

• Strategic routes and main distributor – inspected every three months
• Classified road – inspected every six months
• Link road and local access roads – inspected annually

Under the new proposals, roads would be reclassified into five categories:

• Strategic route (mainly A roads) – to be inspected monthly
• Main distributor (major urban roads, more 12,000 daily journeys) – to be inspected monthly
• Secondary distributor (mainly B and C rural roads, more than 8,000 daily journeys) – to be inspected monthly
• Link road (linking main and secondary roads) – to be inspected every three months
• Local access road – to be inspected annually

Motorways and parts of the A3 are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

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