POTHOLE WATCH: Northamptonshire County Council accepts Mr Pothole’s dangerous roads notice

Mark Morrell  AKA Mr Pothole. (Picture: Leila Coker)
Mark Morrell AKA Mr Pothole. (Picture: Leila Coker)

Northamptonshire County Council will repair potholes on two roads in the county after being presented with a legal challenge to do so by a campaigner.

Last month, on National Pothole Day, Mark Morrell – AKA Mr Pothole – served the authority with two Section 56 notices (of the Highways Act 1980) citing the council’s failure to maintain two roads: Halse Road in Greatworth and the Welsh Lane route (B4525) from Crowfield to the A43 roundabout.

On April 4, Mr Morrell received written confirmation from the county council stating they accepted the roads are public highways maintainable at the public expense, and thus it was the relevant authority to undertake the maintenance work.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, Cllr Ian Morris, said: “This has been one of the most severe winters in recent years with three major snow events.

“Like elsewhere in the country this has had a heavy impact on our roads.

“As the responsible highways authority for Northamptonshire we are continuing to work to our policy, which determines the safety intervention levels.

“If a defect meets our intervention criteria then we are still undertaking repairs within timescales set out in our policy and we would encourage people to report defects through the Street Doctor service which is available on our website.

“In recent years we developed a comprehensive programme of proactive maintenance which was designed to maintain the highway and make it more resilient to wear and tear.

“With increased usage of roads and less money available it becomes increasingly challenging to carry out the work to ‘future-proof’ the roads.

“Additionally - the money we currently get from Government has to be spent on all assets, which includes structures such as bridges, and we will often have to prioritise the spend accordingly.

“Therefore in some instances the preventative work on roads may have to be slowed if we have to fund something such as a bridge repair and so there will be variations in what we are able to do.”