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Pothole reports have fallen says Kent County Council roads chief

By Caitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

The county councillor in charge of transport claims the number of potholes is going down.

Cllr Mike Whiting says his team at Kent County Council have received fewer reports of damage to the roads in the past month.

The council's cabinet member for highways and transport added contractors hired for this are set to fill in all the holes by the end of August.

Potholes in Sea Street, Herne Bay, earlier this year
Potholes in Sea Street, Herne Bay, earlier this year

Cllr Whiting told councillors at the environment and transport cabinet committee: “We are filling thousands of potholes now.

“We will review the whole thing in June and see if we can save resources or use more.

“This is a project that is going to take us through to the end of August.

“This is not a quick fix over five minutes for over 5,000 miles of roads.

Esplanade in Rochester earlier this year
Esplanade in Rochester earlier this year

“The number of reports coming in have fallen and I think we peaked at 1,500 per week and that has fallen to around 500.

“The demand is lessening and we will get through them as quick as we can.”

He added at the meeting yesterday this may be because contractors are filling the potholes or that fewer people are reporting the problems.

Yet a Freedom of Information request has revealed hundreds of drivers have appealed to the council for compensation after the poor state of the roads led to the damage of their cars – only for a third to be rejected.

Cabinet member for planning, highways, transport and waste Cllr Mike Whiting
Cabinet member for planning, highways, transport and waste Cllr Mike Whiting

It has been reported that of the 527 vehicle damage claims last year only 107 were successful.

This is due to a legal loophole where the autority can dismiss these claims if the roads are scheduled to be repaired “within reasonable time”.

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