With people staying home following the Coronavirus pandemic, the council’s contractor, Marlborough, took to the streets to repair reported defects through the Find and Fix programme.
The programme involved a team of spotters going out and actively finding and marking up potholes. They worked up to a week ahead of the maintenance crews, who followed up and repaired the approved defects.
The council defined intervention levels for potholes but we actively encouraged that this programme included any adjacent defects or those that were close to intervention levels so that the process became proactive rather than just reactive.
All spotted potholes were documented and the evidence (log sheets and images) were passed back to council staff for approval. A system within WhatsApp was developed to deliver the spotted defects, with associated locations references within the images for easy tracking.
In total, 2,430 defects were repaired between 2 April and 4 June 2020, more than the whole of last year (2,057). The repairs were also carried out at a cheaper cost compared to previous years, and lower than the national average cost.
Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, inward and capital investment, said: “The Find and Fix programme has proven to be a resounding success. With the greatly reduced traffic during the lockdown, the crews were able to work quickly and efficiently, without causing major disruption to motorists and residents.
“We are delighted to see the repair rate figure so high, and at a cheaper rate comparative to last year, benefitting the taxpayer. The programme has also eased the current burden on our highways inspection team who have seen a 50% reduction in recorded potholes on the carriageway.”
If you spot a road defect, please report this at MySouthend.