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Road repairs increase as lockdown forces traffic off Suffolk’s highways

PUBLISHED: 12:24 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 13 May 2020

Suffolk Highways staff have continued to work through the lockdown. Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYS

Suffolk Highways staff have continued to work through the lockdown. Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYS

Archant

Suffolk Highways has taken advantage of the reduction in traffic during the lockdown to increase the number of potholes filled over the last two months.

Work has been continuing at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDWork has been continuing at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Road repair teams fixed nearly 1,000 more potholes and other damage in March and April than in the same period last year.

During the two months Suffolk Highways dealt with 6,334 potholes and other highway faults, compared with 5,345 in the same period last year, meaning a 18.5% increase in repairs.

As well as these repairs, which are picked up through reports from residents and Suffolk Highways’ routine inspections, the service has continued with its larger improvement schemes - completing works on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds and continuing with the construction of a new footpath in Heath Lane, Ipswich.

Suffolk Highways has also continued with its drainage, grass cutting and weed control programmes, ensuring those travelling for essential purposes can do so safely. And the resurfacing and surface dressing programmes have begun – laying new surfaces on roads to help stop potholes from forming in future.

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Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Despite the obvious challenges all public services are experiencing at the moment, I am really pleased to see that not only are our highways colleagues continuing business as usual, but they are using the quieter roads to get more done!

“Our teams have had to work in different ways, to ensure they can continue keeping the roads safe and open for use, whilst keeping themselves and those they come into contact with safe and healthy.

“Despite these extra precautions, Suffolk Highways colleagues have increased productivity, repaired more issues and continued with their planned programmes of work. These successes are evidence of the hard work and dedication shown by our key worker operatives – thank you all for what you continue to do to keep our county moving.”

Jack Owen, Labour’s spokesman for highways at Suffolk County Council, said: “Most people would agree that our roads in Suffolk are in a pretty sorry state, so this is encouraging news and I would like to thank Suffolk Highways for working through this challenging period to get more repairs done.

“Suffolk Highways have reassured us that they have been taking all the right precautions to ensure that staff are safe and I urge them to continue in this manner. Of course, we want to see as many repairs done as possible, but the health and safety of highways staff must always come first.

“The key now is to build on this progress and maintain these standards, so we can be proud of Suffolk’s road network once again.”


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