HIGHWAYS crews in East Sussex have spent £20 million resurfacing roads equivalent to an area of more than 75 football pitches in the past year, new figures reveal.
Among the major works done included resurfacing work on the A259 at Upper Park Road and London Road, St Leonards, last October and a two-mile stretch of the A2100 Hastings Road and Battle Hill, in Telham just outside Battle.
East Sussex County Council’s highways department has completed a total length of around 50 miles of road – equivalent to the entire southern coast of the county from Peacehaven to Camber.
In total the authority has spent almost £40 million in the last three years resurfacing roads and mending potholes.
Karl Taylor, assistant director of the council’s transport and operations division, said: “We recently increased the number of gangs out and about dealing with potholes threefold from eight to 24.
“They are tasked solely with repairing potholes and are fixing up to 500 a day. Wherever possible we carry out permanent repairs, however in some instances, such as on main roads or busy junctions we may carry out temporary repairs and return to complete a permanent repair at a more appropriate time.
“We may also carry out temporary repairs of potholes on roads where we know we are due to carry out extensive patching or resurfacing works.
“Other than in these instances, it shouldn’t be the case that potholes are having temporary repairs on a repeated basis, and if this is happening we’d like people to let us know.”
The figures released by the county council for the financial year from April 2012, show 550,000 square metres of road have been resurfaced, roughly the same area as 76 UEFA standard football pitches.
Roger Williams, the authority’s head of highways, said keeping the county’s roads in good shape was a ceaseless task.
He said: “It’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge because as soon as you’ve resurfaced a stretch of road, it begins to deteriorate again due to the number of vehicles which travel along it.”
The council uses specially-equipped lorries to carry out mechanical surveys of the county’s 2,000 miles of road, using the data collected, along with reports from members of the public, to prioritise highways in most urgent need of repair.
Mr Williams said: “The mechanical surveys, along with the information people provide us with, helps us to build up a picture of the state of our roads and the ones which are most in need of repair are dealt with first.
Carl Maynard, the county council’s lead member for transport and environment, said: “Taking a systematic approach to maintaining our roads and nipping any problems in the bud before the road deteriorates further saves the council money in the long run.”
Motorists can keep abreast of ongoing roadworks in the county on the county council’s highways Twitter feed @esccroads while roads in need of repair can be reported via the roads and transport section of the authority’s website at www.eastsussex.gov.uk.
Potholes can be reported through the contact centre on 0345 6080193, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk where people can use a very simple map to pinpoint a pothole.