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Special effort to repair potholes on Suffolk’s Tour of Britain route

PUBLISHED: 17:17 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 27 September 2017

Tour of Britain passes through Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Tour of Britain passes through Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

If you live on the route taken by Tour of Britain riders in Suffolk, the chances are you’ve seen road crews repairing potholes over the last 18 months.

Tour of Britain stage 6 mapTour of Britain stage 6 map

Nearly 300 potholes and other road defects on the 116-mile route from Newmarket to Aldeburgh were fixed in the 18 months before the race was held.

And a special effort was made in the Ixworth and Walsham le Willows area after defects were noticed during the final phase of planning the race.

The figures emerged in a Freedom of Information request we lodged with Suffolk County Council on the work it had carried out on the route following controversy about the state of some of the area’s roads and cycle paths.

This showed that between 1 April last year and this month the county carried out 292 repairs on the route of Tour. These were carried out under the contract with Kier and did not have a specific cost per section of patching work.

It also carried out a number of resurfacing works and road improvements on the route which cost a total of £811,693.

The works were mainly spread out evenly over the 18-month period, but there was a flurry of activity in the Ixworth and Walsham le Willows area on August 11, a month before the tour passed through on September 8, which were linked to the arrival of the cyclists.

Engineers also did a late check of the route just before the day and carried out any urgent repairs thought necessary.

A spokesman for the county council said the work was not out of line with what would be expected on that length of county council highways over an 18-month period.

He said the work in the Walsham le Willows area was marked as urgent on August 2 – and a reference was made to the Tour to ensure the engineers knew it had to be done quickly.

And he insisted the Tour organisers were happy about the state of the county’s roads: “The Tour director stated that he was happy with the condition of the roads throughout the route in Suffolk.

“All Inspectors were aware of the tour and were requested to keep an eye out to check for specific defects along the route in advance. This all reflected on Suffolk positively as The Tour commended our roads and the event was a great success.”

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