A MESSAGE FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR ELAINE STILL
Published: 23 January 2023
I hope you are all keeping well and warm.
You will be acutely aware that we are heading into another prolonged cold snap and temperatures are expected to remain very low until at least the end of the week. This will have further implications for the Highways service, and it is highly likely we can expect to see more potholes and degradation on our roads, and especially so given the unexpected daily freeze-thaw cycle that caused so much damage before Christmas. The recent heavy rain has added to the service pressures with widespread surface water flooding and high groundwater still evident in many places, increasing the risk of ice. It is likely that at least two gritting runs will be required every day until the temperatures rise in order to deal with the continuous wash-off and the freeze-thaw impact - this has consequential impacts for our contractor resources as many of the gritter drivers are also frontline operatives.
The highways team are continuing to work flat out to keep on top of the situation, including working evenings and weekends, but these current challenges will mean a further re-prioritisation of frontline activity to ensure resources are directed to where they are most needed. The ongoing issues, together with the impacts of further wintry weather, means that it could be several months before the frontline service can return to anything like business as usual activity.
Highways are taking urgent steps to update our highway webpages to highlight the peak demand and to inform users/residents that there may be a delay before lower priority repairs can be actioned. So you are aware, and to put the current situation into some perspective, over the weekend alone more than 700 reports/enquiries were received!
Milestone are endeavouring to scale up their resources through their supply chains to meet the heightened demand but most, if not all, of the regional authorities are trying to secure the same resources as their networks also deteriorate.
Can I therefore ask that you take every opportunity to remind residents, parishes, town councils and district colleagues that, whilst we welcome new reports of defects please request they do so using the County Council’s online reporting system. It is taking more time at the moment to deal with the demand so please urge patience and understanding.
Tree/hedge problems: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems/treehedge
Flooding/drainage issues: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems/flooding
Pavement problems: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems/paving
Problems with rights of way: https://www.hants.gov.uk/landplanningandenvironment/rightsofway/reportaproblem
Salt bins: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/severeweather/salting
Gritter routes: https://maps.hants.gov.uk/highwayssaltroutes/