County transport chiefs have been forced to defend the quality of pothole repairs across the county amid concerns that freshly patched roads are already deteriorating.
Potholes across Bucks have been a hot topic of discussion for frustrated residents and politicians after harsh winter weather conditions destroyed much of the county’s already dilapidated roads.
In March, residents were treated to their first glimpse of summer as temperatures soared to 30C – prompting transport teams to start work on road repairs.
However Bucks County councillor for Grendon Underwood, Angela Macpherson, criticised the poor quality of pothole repairs at a meeting of the environment, transport and communities select committee on Tuesday.
She said: “There are continued questions every time I go to parish councils that [Transport for Bucks] has reacted quite fast, which is great, and the weather understood.
“But it is the quality of those repairs, they seem to deteriorate fast.
“We just don’t understand what is happening about quality inspections, and how can we guarantee there is going to be better quality defect repairs?”
Head of Highways at the county council Mark Averill, insisted there had been an improvement in the quality of repairs compared to previous years.
He added that a number of factors, including poor weather, means some temporary repairs have been carried out in order to quickly make the roads safe.
Mr Averill said: “The problem is when we start hitting the bad weather we have to make sure the roads are as safe as possible, we can’t just leave a defect, wait for it to stop raining and come back in four weeks’ time for a permanent repair.
“We need to make the road as safe as we can and sometimes we have to acknowledge that some of the work we do because of the materials we use will come out.”
Transport teams are also working on a plane and patch repair programme – which will allow them to fix a higher proportion of potholes quickly in a bid to tackle a growing backlog.
Last year BCC fixed 38,000 potholes – however this year it is expected to increase to 44,000.
In April councillors agreed to release £1.2 million from reserves and invest a total of £20 million into the county’s crumbling roads.