Update on KCC Pothole Blitz - Oral Update
The Dartford and Gravesham District Manager (KCC) provided an oral update on the KCC Pothole Blitz. Members were informed that Dartford and Gravesham had been awarded a combined sum of £400K for a pothole blitz, with 13 sites in Gravesham identified as being in most need to receive the works. Roads that were included within the scheme were Whitepost Lane, Harvel road, Downs Road, Thong Lane, Melliker Lane, Coopers Road, Thames Way, Jellico Avenue, Winchester Crescent, Peartree Lane. The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager (KCC) advised further work would be required in the Valley Drive roundabout area but were awaiting costings for this. It was hoped works would be completed by the end of October 2023.
Members queries whether all districts were receiving £200K or £400K each. The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager (KCC) advised that all districts were different and was unaware what other areas has been awarded. He went on to say that his team were doing as much work as possible with the funds and were hopeful of further funding in the future.
Members requested that feedback be passed on to the contractors carrying out pothole repairs, to be more attentive when clearing the site after the completion of works. It was mentioned that there had been an occasion on Old Road East, were after work had been completed, excess materials had been left behind. There was concern this could be treacherous for those with mobility issues.
Concern was raised regarding KCC having to fill potholes created due to leaks in the highway and what push back could be inflicted on the utility companies in question. Members were informed that Southern Water were notorious for leaks. The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager (KCC) advised that unfortunately the more KCC provided temporary fixes to potholes caused by water leaks, reduced the urgency for the utility to attend and resolve the issue. He went on to say that the KCC Street Works team worked closely with the utility companies and when utility companies were found to be at fault, they could be sent on an improvement plan. The correct repairs relied on KCC being aware of any damage and for residents to report any issues.
Members noted that as public money was spent maintaining the highway and repairing potholes, there should be an expectation that utility companies are responsible for carrying out the necessary repairs for any damage they caused. The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager (KCC) advised that prior to pothole blitzes, utility companies were made aware of upcoming works, to encourage them to carry out any planned works beforehand.
The Chair offered assistance if required, to also meet with Southern Water on this matter. He requested that an update on conversations with Southern Water be provided at the next meeting of the Gravesham Joint Transportation Board.
Members queried whether KCC kept a log of the insurance claims made by the public in relation to damage to vehicles caused by potholes. The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager (KCC) explained that every pothole complaint was investigated within 28 days, ensuring an initial safety repair and then booking for a full repair to the road. Severe pothole damage was investigated within 24 hours.