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Revealed: Here’s how long it takes Southwark Council to respond to potholes – and the road with most complaints

Southwark Council has a target of repairing the most serious potholes in two hours, while the Walworth Road is the most frequently complained about by road defects, research has revealed.

Other local authorities including Cumbria aim to respond to serious defects “immediately”, while among the slowest to respond was Leicestershire, which gave itself a target of 72 hours, an RAC survey found.

However response times varied depending on the nature of the road network and local authority.

Southwark’s town hall said it had the third highest spend per kilometre for highways in London, and that it was maintained to high road standards.

Potholes smaller than 40mm were unlikely to be assessed or categorised by the council, according to the FOI response.

A separate study, conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), revealed that the Walworth Road was the most frequent target of motorists’ ire, as the most complained about highway in 2017-18.

The council received 322 pothole complaints in the year the study revealed – but only paid out for any car damages in three cases, totalling £538.

Sue Terpilowski, FSB London Policy Chair, said potholes were a “danger” to road users and led to problems for small businesses.

She added: “There should be simple way to report road problems to local councils, with identified problems quickly rectified.

“Highways maintenance needs to be a priority for our councils, to keep the road network moving for our small businesses in the city.”

Cllr Richard Livingstone, Cabinet Member for environment, transport management and air quality, said: “We look after 207 miles of highway and work hard to make sure that they are safe and accessible for motorists, cyclists and other road users. Inspections are carried out regularly by experienced and qualified officers and potholes that are identified as dangerous are attended to within two hours.

“The council has the third highest net spend per kilometre for highways services in London and is committed to maintaining its high standards going forward.”

Southwark spent £1.17million on road repairs in 2017-18, the research also showed.


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