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More than 600 complaints about potholes in Redbridge last year, figures show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 February 2019

The Federation of Small Businesses has published pothole numbers and called for action to support road users and local firms. Picture: PA / Martin Keene

The Federation of Small Businesses has published pothole numbers and called for action to support road users and local firms. Picture: PA / Martin Keene

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The council received more than 600 complaints about potholes last year, figures have revealed.

Angry motorists and cyclists sent 659 gripes to Redbridge Council in 2018 according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

In all 25 claims for vehicle damage were made by road users who came a cropper on the borough’s roads over the same period but the council only paid out on two – adding up to £2,750, the figures show.

They also reveal the local authority spent £2,503 repairing potholes last year with the worst road for pothole complaints being Cranbrook Road in Ilford.

This compares to 1,391 complaints in neighbouring Newham with eight compensation claims succeeding out of 43.

The FSB lobby group gained the details after submitting a freedom of information request to Redbridge Council.

Council leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “In Redbridge we commit a substantial amount of funding to highway maintenance.

“The council is committed to investing over £4million a year in our roads to repair defects before they cause potholes and ensure our highways are in the best possible condition for drivers.”

He added that the council regularly inspects its road network and will continue to prioritise resources to ensure urgent repairs are dealt with first.

Cllr Athwal said: “Unfortunately due to unprecedented government cuts to local councils in London – amounting to a 60 per cent decrease in Redbridge funding since 2010 - it is increasingly difficult to allocate resources away from our vulnerable people and services to fix roads.

“However, we are committed to ensuring the best possible road surfaces for our residents and are constantly working to find innovative ways of repairing roads.”

Sue Terpilowski, the FSB’s London policy chairman, said: “Potholes are not only a danger to road users. They cause costly repairs, traffic congestion and bottlenecks. Most small businesses rely on their local roads. Highways maintenance needs to be a priority.”

She urged the council to introduce a simpler way for road users to report problems, track them and submit claims.

Potholes can be reported on the council’s website or by calling 020 8554 5000.

In last autumn’s Budget, chancellor Phillip Hammond pledged £420million towards tackling the country’s pothole epidemic.

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