Annually Southend-on-Sea deals with an average of 20,000 potholes, I am informed. These are either individually filled in, or patched (where there is a grouping of potholes in one area).
This does raise a couple of thoughts in my mind.
I am informed that only category one holes are dealt with at the moment. (Category one holes are those that exceed 40mm in depth.) I have no idea how many categories there are, but if 20,000 is the number in category one one can easily envisage in excess of 100,000 holes of all types across the borough. This suggests that our roads are in a shocking state; in some places that I have seen a comparison with the third world is no exaggeration.
I wonder how effective the repairs are. When we are dealing with this issue year after year one is tempted to question the efficacy of the repairs. Are we opting for the cheap and cheerful solution for a short-term saving? If we are, then those short-term savings are surely costing more in the long run.
What is true is that many roads after repair display a patchwork of grey fixes that to my eyes is most unattractive.
No local authority can avoid potholes appearing, and no councillor (surely) can resist this staple of ward newsletters. What I hope to achieve are cost-effective fixes that also satisfy aesthetic sensibilities, and maintain more than minimum safety standards. I cannot state for certain that fixes are not cost effective, but I am sure that fixes are not attractive, and that public safety is being compromised by the plethora of holes and the selective nature of their repair.
(I guess we still know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.)