Council ditches 40mm pothole repair rule for Hull roads
WHEN is a pothole not a pothole?
Until now, the answer in Hull has been a hole in the road less than 40mm deep.
For years the 40mm mark has been the trigger point for a pothole to be officially classed as a trip hazard by Hull City Council and, as a result, sufficiently deep enough to be filled in.
But now council officials are about to scrap the strict ruling governing which potholes can be repaired and which ones can be ignored for a bit longer.
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Instead, repairs will be determined after a range of factors have been reviewed by council highways engineers.
The new criteria is expected to include the state of the road surface around a pothole, local traffic levels and pedestrian footfall as well as the depth of the offending pothole itself.
Councillor Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said the long-standing 40mm depth rule was a "crude" way of deciding which repairs should get priority.
Speaking at a council scrutiny meeting, he said: "Officers are working on a new set of criteria that will determine how funding is allocated to pothole repairs.
"The 40mm rule is a very crude method because you shouldn't really just judge whether a repair is necessary solely on the basis of how deep a pothole is.
"Under the new criteria, other factors will be taken into consideration, such as traffic levels, the number of pedestrians in an area and the condition of the surrounding road surface.
"What is needed is a proper risk analysis rather than just relying on measuring how deep one pothole might be."
The council has already moved away from a previous policy of reactive repairs to individual potholes once they are spotted by highways inspectors or reported by members of the public.
Instead, the authority is now carrying out more proactive repair work to larger sections of roads in a move backed by motoring organisations such as the AA.
Mr Mancey said he expected the new criteria covering pothole repairs to be agreed and in place before Christmas.
He also dismissed suggestions that repairs might only be carried out in marginal wards with one eye on the next council elections.
He told councillors: "I can reassure you there will be no gerrymandering.
"A good example is an area in my own ward where we will be spending money on pothole repairs.
"It's an area where there are no residents and, therefore, no votes to be won.
"The work will be done where work is needed to be done."