'Spray-painting potholes helping us keep better records', council insists after criticism

Potholes on the district's roads are being sprayed with numbers to help keep up-to-date records, Wakefield Council has said.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:32 pm
Some of the numbers spray-painted on filled-in potholes on Hall Road (photos submitted by Adrian Smith)

In recent weeks patched-up potholes have been spray painted with a digit, which as led to some criticising the move, calling it an unsightly mess and a waste of money.

Wakefield resident Adrian Smith told the Express: "What a complete waste of time and public funds, not to mention the eyesore.

"Surely there's a health and safety issue here, drivers are dazzled by numerous numbers on the carriageway."

He says people have been stopping and looking at the sprayed numbers "in amazement", but Wakefield Council has defended the move saying up to 14 dedicated teams work across the district to tackle potholes, and the number system serves a purpose.

The teams photograph and document each repair and in April next year, all locations that have been repaired between February and April will be revisited to consider if more extensive surfacing repairs are required.

Director for streetscene, Gary Blenkinsop said: “The reason for recording, photographing and numbering potholes is to gather essential information which is then used when considering future works. The paint is temporary and wears off within a short period of time.

“The find and fix teams are making a positive difference, in the last five weeks over 6,000 defects and potholes have been repaired.

"The information gathered is already informing a programme of patching to further improve the district’s roads.

“This winter saw heavy rainfall and prolonged periods of freezing temperatures which had an impact on roads up and down the country, including in our district.

“In response we allocated an additional £150,000 on top of our £15m highways budget which is used maintain roads and footways.

“The additional funding has enabled us to respond to requests from residents to repair the worst potholes, and to proactively deploy teams to find and fix larger potholes that could be a risk to safety."

The council says it aims to make permanent repairs to all pot holes.

The council road network covers more than 1,500km, and 1,900km of footways, cycle lanes and tracks.

Residents can use the council MyAccount to report a pothole or call the council’s contact centre on 0345 8 506 506.

Teams will be going out to assess the worst potholes, classified as 20mm or more in depth, for repair.