Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats today exposed a missed opportunity by Gloucestershire County Council to fix the county’s pothole epidemic while the roads were empty.
Over the last three months, highways authorities across the country have taken advantage of quieter roads during lockdown to massively increase the number of potholes repaired. Examples include Stoke-on-Trent who tripled the number of pothole repairs, Derbyshire which more than doubled repairs and Shropshire which made a huge dent in its backlog.
Under questionning today by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, however, it emerged that Gloucestershire County Council’s repair rates actually fell dramatically, by 2,476 potholes fixed compared to 2019, 13,643 compared to 2018 and 8,794 compared to 2017 – with just 7,047 potholes filled over the last three months.
Commenting on the disappointing stats, Lib Dem Group Leader, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, said:
“While the pandemic has been tragic in many ways, lockdown measures have also provided all sorts of opportunities. Unfortunately, this Conservative administration has completely failed to take advantage of these unique circumstances, whether that’s grasping the explosion in cycling and walking, ecouraging active travel to our schools or fixing the highways while the roads have been empty.
“We have seen many more-progressive councils make the most of this situation, and residents of Gloucestershire will rightly question why they have to put up with appalling highways when a more proactive administration would have grasped this one-off opportunity to put things right.”