Winter pothole cost still rising

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POTholes are still appearing on Doncaster’s roads as the borough tries to cope with the consequences of the coldest winter in years.

Bosses at the authority say they still do not know the full extent of the damage caused by snow and ice which gripped the borough during December because fresh reports are continuing to come in.

The ongoing nature of the problem was revealed as the Government announced plans to double the money made available for dealing with potholes.

Doncaster Council’s director of regeneration and environment, Peter Dale, said: “It is very difficult to say how much of the damage to Doncaster’s roads was due just to this winter, but there are a significant amount of repairs to do.

“Our road network is inspected on an annual programme and this process is ongoing. We don’t have a final number of potholes as they are still appearing across the borough.

“We are not sure how much money we will be receiving yet, but this is good news and we welcome any extra funds from central government.”

Last year, the council had to fill more than 14,000 potholes. It estimated it costs between £20 and £25 to fill each one.

Schools closed, canals froze over and flights were cancelled in December as the mercury plunged in what was the coldest winter Doncaster had seen for a generation.

Bosses at St Leger Homes faced an estimated additional £200,000 in repair bills to council housing stock as a result of damage caused by the big freeze.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has written to the council to tell officials about the increase in money for repairing their roads.

He said: “Potholes are a menace to all road users and I want councils to make fixing them a priority.

“This represents a significant investment in road maintenance at a time of severe fiscal restraint.”

Doncaster Council will publish details of where the money has been spent.