MORE than 3,600 potholes on Wiltshire roads were reported in January, with teams battling to fill them.
Wiltshire Council says it is continuing its focus on fixing potholes after the reports – a record number.
The authority puts the increase in potholes down to several factors, including the hot and dry summer of 2022, followed by very wet and cold weather so far this winter.
Along with the usual pothole teams, which respond to issues based on customer reports, the council has enlisted its 18 Parish Stewards – one for each community area in Wiltshire – to focus solely on fixing potholes in their area.
Cllr Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport, said: “We have received a record number of 3,623 pothole reports through our MyWilts reporting system this January.
“This compares with 924 reports in December and 677 reports in November, which illustrates the scale of the problem we’re dealing with across over 2,500 miles of roads in Wiltshire.
“But we’re doing all we can to fix them and have ensured that filling potholes is the focus of all 18 of our Parish Stewards around the county to support the usual pothole teams.
“Our Parish Stewards are key resources. During the recent cold snap, many drove gritters to help keep our highways safe and before that they were helping with local flooding.
“But as the wet and cold weather has subsided for now, they have moved back to pothole-filling.”
She said the teams have to balance the work they do, with larger, deeper potholes requiring more urgent attention.
“We’re prioritising filling these in the first instance,” Cllr Thomas added.
“To fill a pothole, the Parish Stewards clear the hole of debris and then fill it with a quick-drying filler, before using tools to smooth the road surface.
“Our priority is always to fill potholes to make them safe. However, in doing this at times we appreciate that some temporary repairs may not be as good as resurfacing the road.
“Nonetheless, depending on conditions, these repairs can last many years and, importantly, the approach means our stewards can fill up to 100 each week.”
The council has urged people to continue reporting potholes through the MyWilts reporting system – either through the MyWilts app, or online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts.
Issues on the M4, A303 and A36 are managed by National Highways, so issues should be reported at report.nationalhighways.co.uk.