by Press Officer on 19 January, 2013
West Sussex – along with the rest of England – is recovering from one of the wettest years of weather since records began with torrential rain taking a heavy toll on the county’s road network.
Six hundred potholes have been reported to West Sussex County Council since Christmas Eve.
Surface water made the problem worse with existing potholes, because water washes away loose particles of road surface whenever vehicles pass over them.
It also accelerates the rate at which new potholes appear.
West Sussex County Council is making a full assessment of the current state of the roads, in order to prioritise repairs according to safety risk.
In addition to the regular programme of pothole repairs, next week ‘Pothole Patrol’ crews will be deployed by the County Council’s contractor Balfour Beatty to target areas where the problems are worst.
The volume of potholes reported so far make it impossible for these to be fixed as they occur.
West Sussex County Council is urging residents to stay patient while the backlog is cleared, and to drive slowly and carefully whenever they travel, particularly through surface water.
County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “We are dealing with the havoc caused by some of the worst wet weather for over a century and while we cannot get on top of this situation overnight, we ask drivers to please be patient and bear with us while we fix these problems.
“In the meantime, the onus is on road users to drive responsibly and take greater care when out on the roads.”
A drop in rainfall in recent days has eased the situation regarding flooding.
The A29 near Shripney has been re-opened during peak hours, but is closed from 9.30am to 4.30pm so pumping work can continue off Sack Lane.
The Environment Agency has removed its Flood Alert for Groundwater Flooding in West Dean, Singleton, Charlton, East Dean and Chilgrove.
However a Flood Alert for the wider River Lavant catchment remains in force due to high river levels and saturated ground conditions.
Residents who spot a pothole can take a picture and report it to the County Council online.
The location of the pothole can be pinpointed and the photo uploaded to the website for the County Council to inspect.
Pieter said: “The Love West Sussex internet pages include a live map showing all the current reports across West Sussex.
“When you send your report, please make sure you include details of size.
“If you are reporting a pothole estimate the width and depth.
“The more detail you provide the easier it is for us to deal with your reported concern.”
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