Reports of potholes on A11 increase by 1,000 in just three years
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
Reports of potholes on one of Norfolk’s major routes have increased by more than 1,000 in just three years, figures show.
Highways England, which maintains the country's motorways and dual carriageways, received 1,388 reports of potholes on the A11 and a further 410 on the A47 during the 2018/2019 financial year.
This is an increase of more than 1,000 on the A11, which runs from the A47 in Norwich to the M11 in Cambridgeshire, compared to the 2015/2016 financial year, leading to Highways England spending more than £1.8m on maintenance and a further £1.42m on improvement works.
In November 2019 a Norfolk couple had a lucky escape after a pothole burst the tyre of their Land Rover Discovery on the A11 at Spooner Row, near Wymondham, and during the July heatwave a repaired pothole melted.
Robert Foster, chairman of the Spooner Row, Suton and Wattlefield Community Council, said that part of the A11 was in poor condition compared to the rest of the road.
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He said: "The stretch from Spooner Row to Wymondham is horrendous and has been strip repaired, which has created more road noise and created an uneven surface.
"Highways redid the surface at Attleborough but when you get past that section drivers are back onto concrete which has been repaired piece by piece over the years."
Highways England says the large increase in reported potholes is linked to the Beast from the East, which hit the region in 2018. But the total spent on Norfolk's highways has remained high with £23m in 2017/2018 and £24m in 2018/2019 compared to £13m in 2015/2016.
The A47, which goes from King's Lynn to Lowestoft, has seen a total of 1,399 potholes reported in the last four years. Almost £30m has been spent on maintenance and improvement works in two of those.
Alison Webb, Breckland district councillor for the Dereham Neatherd ward, said that potholes have not been an issue raised by her constituents, with issues often repaired quickly when reported.
A Highways England spokesperson said: "We have a comprehensive maintenance and renewals programme across all of our major roads and motorways which helps to minimise the risks of potholes occurring.
"Safety is Highways England's top priority, and on major routes like the A11 and A47 we carry out a rolling programme of safety inspections every seven days."