Street compared to the Himalayas amid ‘pothole purge’

AN environment chief has conceded A North-East road “looks like the Himalayas” as a pothole purge reaches its end.

Council staff in Middlesbrough have been working on a town-wide pothole scheme since June in a bid to save the suspension on thousands of borough vehicles.

But Cllr Dennis McCabe admitted Hall Drive in particular was suffering after worries from Kader councillor Jim Platt.

The former Middlesbrough goalkeeper said both Acklam Road and Hall Drive were “a disgrace” – and asked when they would be sorted out.

Cllr McCabe agreed – telling Middlesbrough Council’s overview and scrutiny board how he regularly drove down Hall Drive.

“It’s more like the Himalayas than an actual road,” he said.

However, the roads chief revealed the stretch had now been “booked in” for major works – and he explained why there was added complexity in the repair.

“We’ve got some sinkage in there due to major drain problems so we need to tie in with Northumbrian Water,” he added.

“I believe we’ve got some leaks in drains so it needs a bit of work there.

“It is bad but when you go down Hall Drive they aren’t actually potholes – they’re more sinks.

“The traffic determines what side of the road you drive on and I agree with you fully. It’s a bad road and will have to be addressed.”

Cllr McCabe also confirmed Acklam Road would be “looked at again”.

The “pothole purge” scheme has seen holes and troubles filled for the past five months with wards blitzed in alphabetical order.

The purge was due to start in April but the pandemic and resulting staff shortages pushed this back.

The programme has fallen slightly behind schedule, however, Cllr McCabe told the board the project was almost complete in his own Trimdon ward.

And he urged councillors to alert him to any spots which had been missed.

Cllr McCabe added: “I’ve noticed several in my area.

“Keep in touch with your residents and ask for updates if there are areas which have been missed – which is quite easily done.

“Contact me and I will endeavour to get them done as soon as possible.”

The environment chief added efforts to repair potholes would not end – with an intervention programme still running as winter strains on roads begin to bite.

Independent councillor Joan McTigue could not understand why all road blemishes were not filled in by teams when they visited roads. The member for Longlands and Beechwood added: “Isn’t it more sensible to tell the workers to go to the roads and fill every pothole which is there?

“Then you can forget about those roads for a long time.”

Cllr McCabe said there was an “intervention level” which meant potholes had to be a “certain size and shape” before they are sorted out.

“As the pothole purge has gone on, we’ve identified the ones which have gone into the intervention level, whereas others aren’t at that intervention level,” he added.

“Unfortunately, I agree everything should be done in the perfect world where we’ve got lots of money to do this.

“We know things are tight – which is why we’re only doing what we can at the moment.”

The executive member confirmed there was enough cash set aside to fund the pothole purge programme and repeated his plea for problems to be reported.

Potholes can be reported to the council’s Environment Contact Centre on 01642 726001, online through the council’s website or via ward councillors.

The Northern Echo | Teesside