Council to spend extra £8m filling in borough’s potholes

Pothole reports have jumped by 95% year-on year across Barnet, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

One of many potholes in Barnet
One of many potholes in Barnet

Barnet Council will spend an extra £8million on road maintenance over the next two years to tackle a surge in the number of potholes.

The council says the funding boost will help to move the borough’s highway network to a “sustainable” condition and reduce the need for short-term repairs.

Harsh winter weather led pothole reports to jump by 95% year-on year to 3,699, according to town hall data.

Driving over potholes can cause a range of vehicle problems, including punctures, wheel misalignment, and damage to suspension systems. They are also dangerous for cyclists.

A council report states that “further significant investment” is needed “to keep pace with the rate of deterioration” in the borough’s road network.

It adds that the extra money “aims to minimise short-term repairs that provide poor value for money and often undermine the structural integrity of the [highway] asset”.

Members of the council’s cabinet agreed to invest the extra £8m during a meeting on Tuesday (18th). Ward councillors will be consulted before the additional maintenance programme is rolled out, and residents will be given two weeks’ notice of work to be carried out in their streets.

The council says it will spend nearly £17m on roads and pavements this year. This includes £670,000 to carry out urgent work in Rushgrove Avenue, Colindale, and Cranbourne Gardens, Golders Green, because of their “declining condition”.

Alan Schneiderman, the council’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “We know that maintaining roads and dealing with potholes are very important to our residents, and we are responding to this by investing more in our highways.

“Well-maintained roads and pavements are safer for everyone. That’s why we boosted funding immediately after taking control of the council last year and have now agreed to invest an additional £8million. And, as a council that cares for people, our places and the planet, we continue investing towards our longer-term plans of making Barnet a safer and more sustainable place for all.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, cabinet members also approved the expansion of a separate scheme designed to tackle damage to pavements caused during development work.

Under the initiative, officers inspect sites and take photographic evidence of the footway condition before, during and after work has taken place, enabling the council to recover the costs of any repairs from the landowner.

Currently operating in seven wards, the scheme will be expanded to cover the whole borough.

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