Giant pothole revealed as Doncaster workmen struggle to keep up with repairs after winter storms
Doncaster could be set for a bumpy ride in the coming weeks – literally.
After a stormy start to 2021, bosses at Doncaster Council have been struggling to keep up with the damage to the roads caused by both torrential rain and freezing weather.
Officials admit they are facing the double whammy of damage to the roads, and weather that has prevented the workmen from getting out and filling in potholes. Some council workers also had to be diverted from their usual jobs to work on preparations for possible flooding last month, when sandbags were distributed across the borough.
The local authority says it is responsible for maintaining about 1,000 miles of roads across the borough and had received reports of 763 potholes in 2021 up to Wednesday, February, 24.
Dan Swaine, director of economy and environment at the authority, said: “We have been experiencing persistent rain and snow recently which has meant very high water tables.
"When this is combined with the severe cold weather it has led to more damage than is normal on our roads and footways. We also had Storm Christophe and its impact in many parts of the borough which became an immediate priority.
“Recently we’ve stepped up our efforts by employing all available resources into carrying out pothole repairs which have been delayed due to the weather. We appreciate resident’s patience and ask them to bear with us while we catch up with this important work."
The problems has caused concern for some residents.
Residents in Hatfield Woodhouse believe they have one of the biggest potholes in Doncaster at present, and have been concerned it may not get mended.
Hatfield Woodhouse resident John Brown said he has been calling Doncaster Council for two weeks to report the bad patch of broken asphalt, which he says virtually spans the whole road.
He said: “Vehicles are having to go onto the grass verges, which is now impassable for pedestrians.
"After about two weeks trying to get it repaired, I had a phone call from Doncaster Council. They said that they could not repair this mess as the road is not adopted.”
But he and residents disputed this and say the council has mended it for many years. Mr Brown said the council have repaired it for the last 80 years as and when required.
He added: “This road leads to Lindholme Hall, home of the Buddhist temple. It is also the road which leads to the picnic lakes on Hatfield Moors, as well the sewage works which serves all of the village, as well as the properties at the end of this road.
“This road was originally used by the RAF during the war as a way onto the air field.”
Another resident June Conliffe, has lived in the area for 90 years.
She said: “Ever since I can remember the council have maintained the road. When I was a child, the man from the council would come with a scythe two or three times a year and mow the verges.
"Every few years a big steam engine would come with half a dozen men to tar and resurface the road.
“I hear that two cars have been damaged by the pot hole. Surely it would be better to mend the road than have to pay compensation to the drivers?”
But the council has now confirmed it will make the repair.
Hollin Bridge Road between Remple Lane and Hollin Bridge Farm is an adopted highway, where it mends the roads, but after Hollin Bridge Farm all roads are Privately Maintained Public Highway and not maintained by the authority
Mr Swain added: “We carried out 12 safety repairs on Hollin Bridge Road at the beginning of February following reports of potholes. We were notified of this recent defect this week, have been out for a site visit and an order for its repair has already been raised.”
It is not the only road that has caused concern recently.
Residents in Tickhill have been worried over a pothole which resident say has claimed dozens of car tyres over the last two months, just before the bridge where the A1 meets Sunderland Street in the town.
Concerned resident Dave Mannifield said each time it was reported, a workman had been sent, but said that although it had appeared to have been mended, the repairs had not lasted.
He said: “The papier mache filling soon washes away and again and again people hit this pothole at speed often bursting two tyres. This is no small hole.
“The hole has once again been filled but if it's true to form it will be back within a couple of weeks.
"I know that many tyres have been burst over the past few months.”
A freedom of information request from the Doncaster Free Press before the coronavirus pandemic revealed a snapshot of Doncaster’s known potholes at that time, based on figures on October 24 2019, when there were 167 potholes that the council knew about.
It also revealed that there had been 10,691 pot holes filled in during the last complete financial year at that stage, that having been 2018-19.
The council’s highway pothole repair policy requires defects to be 40mm deep and they are subject to a risk assessment.
Council bosses have said when determining risk to road users they take into account the size and depth of the pothole, traffic type, speed and volume, road alignment and visibility and also the position in relation to the road width.