Sunderland pothole fund '˜a drop in the ocean' - Velocity boss
A Â£260,000 Government fund to tackle Sunderland's pothole problem is a '˜drop in the ocean' says the boss of a specialist Wearside road repair firm.
The Department of Transport has allocated nearly £4million for councils to repair an estimated 74,000 potholes across the North-East during 2017-18 – including £260,000 for 4,900 pothole repairs in Sunderland.
Velocity managing director Dominic Gardner praised the government for their long- term planning in a difficult economic climate but stressed that £4 million was “not nearly enough”.
Hendon-based Velocity, whose hi-tech machines can permanently repair a pothole in about two minutes, has repaired more than two million potholes across the UK over the past five years.
“This funding isn’t going to save Britain’s roads,” said Dominic.
“The Local Government Association has already estimated that £11.8billion is needed to bring the nation’s roads up to scratch.
“And last year 14 authorities across the region estimated they will have to spend £1.4 billion to complete outstanding work on highways.
“But the fact that the fund has been allocated so early means there is time for plans to be put in place by the local authorities concerned.”
Velocity’s road preservation crews can each repair up to 200 potholes per day.
The company has worked on extensive road repair programmes with local authorities nationwide, including Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon and Thurrock over the course of this year.
It is now looking to work with more North East councils to ensure its repair process and preventative treatments are utilised to tackle the region’s pothole repair backlog.
“Clearly, we hope the North-East authorities will choose to utilise some of those new funds with Velocity because we know could have a very significant impact in terms of improving road conditions across the region,” said Dominic.
“As recognised highways experts, our skills have been utilised extensively by several large local authorities over the past 12 months but none of them have been here in our native North East.
“So we’re a proud North-East company that spends of most of its time fixing the roads in other parts of the country.
“What we can offer them is not a quick-fix but cost-effective, long-term repairs.”