Extra £4.6m approved to fix potholes in Brent but it only covers THREE per cent of roads in the borough
PUBLISHED: 14:02 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:10 22 March 2016
Brent Council has approved plans for a £4.6 million cash injection to repair potholes but it will only cover just THREE per cent of the borough’s roads.
Councillors gave the green light to a new Highways Maintenance Programme which will see an estimated 50 per cent more funding poured into vital upkeep and resurfacing of 9.5 of the 315 miles of road in Brent in the next year.
The sum will also be used on 4.3 of the 529 miles of pavement across the borough which equates to ONE per cent.
The new funding for repairs comes after the Brent & Kilburn Times reported in January that £41,529 was shelled out on compensation payments related to potholes and a further £78,721 on claims for trips on pavements, kerbs and roads in the last two years.
The council is also seeking a further £2m of funding from other council budget areas and will consider funding for future schemes in June.
According to a report submitted to Brent Council’s cabinet last month, 19pc of highways in the borough are still in need of repair.
The report, compiled by Brent Council’s strategic director of regeneration and environment, also reveals that priority is given to roads flagged up for maintenance and repairs by ward councillors, suggesting repairs could be “fast-tracked” if contact is made with local representatives.
The report states: “We continue to take account of councillor nominations for road maintenance and, where a number of schemes attract the same or similar scores, we prioritise councillor nominated schemes earlier in our proposed maintenance programmes.”
Up until 2014-2015, council highway officers would send teams to repair potholes and damaged road surfaces on a “worst first basis”, but the strategic plan for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 shows a new focus on “preventative maintenance” to ensure roads are treated before they become a visible problem for road users.
Maydine Etienne, 45, who sent a catalogue of images from streets in Neasden to the Brent & Kilburn Times, previously said: “The roads in Brent are in an appalling condition. When I’m driving I constantly have to play dodge the pothole and there’s a constant possibility of falling into them not just for drivers but pedestrians too.
“By making our roads safe, they will avoid paying out on so many accident and injury compensation claims.”
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Everyone at the council feels the same about potholes as residents do, we want them filled. Unfortunately, government cuts have meant we have had to prioritise other services in recent years.
“While we do perform well for the state of our main roads on a London-wide level, residents have told us that they want to see the council doing more, which is why street repairs budgets are set to be protected from cuts and are in-line for a financial injection in maintenance.
“With the extra money, better ways of working and improvements in the ways potholes can be repaired, we should see a borough which is accessible for all with fewer potholes and pavement trips.”
To report potholes or roads or pavements in need of repair, see the council website.