5 July 2011

A prediction -The roads of Barnet will fall apart in winter 2011/12

We have seen what has happened to the roads of Barnet in the recent severe winters and that Barnet had had to have a Pothole Elimination Programme, or PEP, and throw a lot of money into little black holes. Here is a story from the Barnet Times which appeared at the time of the problem: Potholes

Of course what you might think is a pothole isn't necessarily so. If you don't live in the town centre then a hole on your pavement of 24mm ( nearly an inch for us oldies ) won't qualify to be filled, but potholes are like children, they just get bigger, and demand attention.

So what is a pothole. Here is what Barnet Council say a pothole is:-

We, as the highway authority, are responsible for the maintenance of the highway, including pavements and footways on all of the roads in the borough which are public highway.

The severity of defects on the footway or carriageway, and therefore the criteria for attention to detail, is determined by the intervention levels which set out the minimum height of trip hazards for paving or the minimum depth across a pothole which require repair.

You may have received a drop card through your door from one of our highways inspectors with a weblink to this page, stating that the defect you have reported is not within intervention levels. Please read on for more information about intervention levels within the borough.
Designated town centres

Footway: minimum 18mm trip hazard
Carriageway: minimum 40mm constant depth across the pothole

All designated town centres are inspected once a month and any intervention level defects noted will be passed to our contractor for repair.
All other borough roads (other than designated town centres)

Footway: minimum 25mm trip hazard
Carriageway: minimum 40mm constant depth across the pothole ( Mr Mustard's motorcycle would not like this and your pizza delivery man would certainly shake your toppings all over the place if he rode through many holes that deep )

All borough roads and footpaths are inspected through a six monthly cyclical inspection regime. Defects noted that are within intervention levels (shown above) are passed to our contractor for repair. ( pass me that pothole Fred ! )

Now its hard when the sun is shining to think about icy roads and Barnet Council evidently did their weather forecast for this coming winter on a sunny day and their seaweed indicated it was going to be lovely this winter because the budget for Highways has been reduced for 2011/12 as these figures show :-

Capital Revenue
Year Budget £ Budget £ Total £
2007/08 17,325,000 4,928,840 22,253,840
2008/09 12,301,000 5,921,980 18,222,980
2009/10 8,414,000 4,552,970 12,966,970
2010/11 10,069,000 2,789,640 12,858,640
2011/12 10,285,000 1,217,370 11,502,370

So there you have it. Spending on fixing potholes will fall this winter and we have no real idea how bad the winter will be. Will this winter mean that spending can be half what it was in 2007/08 ?

Remember, you read it here first.

Being frugal does not mean failing to spend money on what needs fixing !

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. hmm, very interesting: I wonder who defines the depth of a pothole? Is Brian, with his ruler? Has the required size increased under his time as Cabinet Member? Those few milimetres can make all the difference, as you will know, Mr Mustard.


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