Authority’s swift move to fix potholes is welcome

COMMENT: Sell alcohol to kids and you will face consequences

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Most drivers in the past few months will have experienced the bone-jarring thud as their car hits a pothole.

It’s bad enough during the day, but at night on unlit roads hitting the deeper ones at speed has the same shocking effect as a minor collision.

And once you have recovered from the body-juddering experience there’s the potential damage to tyres, wheels and suspension with which to deal.

So Hampshire County Council deserves credit for getting its act together so speedily after the autumn and winter floods which have wrecked our roads.

Its 80 gangs of pothole busters are working day and night to restore equilibrium to our motoring.

We remember clearly the last time we endured a winter of shocking weather – that time of snow and ice – and the lack of urgency shown by county hall to fix the holes.

Obviously lessons have been learned, not only by the Winchester-based authority but also by a government stung into financial action because the entire country has been left with a road system akin to a nationwide-sized slice of Gruyère cheese.

Memories are quick to fade, especially given the sparkling spring weather of the past fortnight or so.

However, surely nobody will ever forget the 2013/14 winter which brought the heaviest rainfall for 250 years. Certainly not those who live at Hambledon.

Councillor Sean Woodward, Hampshire’s councillor in charge of transport, says: ‘We have had the worst damage the county council has ever seen. It looks after 5,200 miles of roads, many of which are country lanes and weren’t built to withstand such weather. ’

The cost of the floods to roads and flood defences in Hampshire is about £63m. The government has stumped up £11.5m so far.

We can only hope it keeps its word and comes up with another £25m just to fix the roads.

Meanwhile, we’re having to get used to two new words in the lexicon of roads maintenance.

They are ‘jetpatcher’ and ‘multihog’.

Look out for them for they’re coming to a hole near you. Soon.