North Lincolnshire road repairs team 'under-funded'

A pothole
Image caption North Lincolnshire Council said it had invested an extra £550,000 for pothole repairs

Pothole repairs in North Lincolnshire are hampered because maintenance teams are "under-manned and under-budgeted", according to council workers.

Rob Beales, the council's head of road maintenance, said there was a backlog of work needed in order to bring roads up to scratch.

Road maintenance worker Mick Holland said: "I keep stressing the fact we're under-manned and under-budgeted."

The council said an extra £550,000 was being spent on repairs.

Figures made available after Freedom of Information (FoI) requests from the BBC showed in 2010, North Lincolnshire Council spent £4,020,009 on highways maintenance.

Compensation claims

The figures also revealed the authority has seen a 30-fold increase in the amount of compensation paid out to individuals relating to damage from potholes and highways maintenance.

From 2008 to 2009, it settled claims worth £2,155. That rose to £99,780 in 2009-2010 and dropped to £66,480 in the current financial year.

The council said the increasing figure was not because there were more pothole accidents.

Image caption The government has put aside £100m for councils badly hit by potholes

A spokeswoman said the 2009-2010 payment was made up of one large claim and three smaller ones and it had been a similar situation for 2010-2011.

Elsewhere, Hull City Council said the severe winter weather had meant there had been a 75% increase in the number of potholes that needed repairing.

The authority said it would potentially be months before some of the less serious potholes were fixed.

A spokeswoman said: "We prioritise defects on a first worse basis, so one reported today may be fixed within a week and some of the less serious ones may wait a few months to be fixed."

East Riding of Yorkshire Council said it had set aside £20m for road maintenance, including pothole repairs, for the next financial year.

Council leader Stephen Parnaby said: "Highways engineers are concentrating on the main networks across the East Riding to ensure we take a planned and measured approach to the damage."

North East Lincolnshire Council said it was working through a backlog of pothole repairs.

Jason Longhurst, assistant executive director of planning, transportation and housing, said: "This process will take some time. Priority will be given to repairing defects that present the greatest risk to road users, particularly on roads where there is a higher volume of traffic."

Last week, the government said it would be putting aside £100m for councils to bid for if they felt they had been badly hit by potholes

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