MORE than £600,000 was spent on repairing almost 10,000 potholes on Barnsley’s roads within a 12-month period, the Chronicle can reveal.
Council highways bosses have responded to motorists’ claims that resurfacing teams had been negligent amid rising reports of vehicle suspension and tyre damage - allegedly caused by potholes - on the borough’s road network.
The total spent on pothole repairs for 2020/21 was £601,927, with a total of 9,708 potholes being repaired in a 24-hour period in the year to September 2021.
The highway network - identified as the single-most valuable asset the council owns - comes with a cost to replace the entire asset estimated at £2.1bn.
This, according to bosses, includes all carriageways, bridges and other highway structures, highway drainage, traffic signals, safety fencing, supporting earthworks, footways, cycle ways, street lighting, road signs, road markings and road studs.
Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transportation, revealed more than £4m will be spent in the next financial year on resurfacing work.
He added: “The budget for our resurfacing programme for 2021/22 stands at £4.355m and our principal road network budget is £4.32m - I hope this helps reassure residents that our albeit limited resources are fairly shared across the borough.
“We have a highway defect performance monitoring system and where reports from the public are deemed as a category one actionable defect, these should have a repair within 24 hours.
“Categorisation of defects takes into account location, depth and size, type of road it’s on and risk to the public.
“From September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, we achieved a 98 per cent success rate.
“The last pothole that was identified as an emergency on Dodworth Road was reported on August 16 and repaired within two hours.
“During the first national lockdown, 30 per cent of highways’ frontline staff were considered clinically vulnerable and were shielding as a result.
“In addition to this, staff were diverted to waste to assist with bin collections.
“However, we were still able to carry out all immediate reported actionable defects within the required timeframe and continued with the resurfacing programme.”
The full list of worst-first roads have been revealed, which includes so-called ‘principal roads’ identified as A637 Huddersfield Road, A635 Wilthorpe Road, A629 Copster Lane, A629 Halifax Road, A61 Sheffield Road and A633 Rotherham Road where high levels of traffic are encountered.
Elsewhere, more than 100 other routes in Central, Darfield, Darton West, Darton East, Dearne North, Dearne South, Dodworth, Hoyland Milton, Kingstone, North East, Old Town, Penistone East, Penistone West, Rockingham, Royston, St Helen’s, Stairfoot, Wombwell and Worsbrough wards will also receive work.
Matt Gladstone, Barnsley Council’s executive director for place, said: “The highway network is a hugely important and valuable asset, so we need to ensure adequate investment to maintain it, not least to support our work to attract new business to the borough.”