Cost of fixing potholes at The Hard after just a year raises fears over Portsmouth transport hub’s design

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THE cost of filling in potholes at a new multimillion-pound transport hub in Portsmouth has raised concerns about its design.

Almost exactly a year on from the Hard Interchange’s opening on May 6, 2017 it was revealed that Portsmouth City Council spent £8,536.66 on cold asphalt patch repairs on the surface of the bus station in March this year.

Resurfacing work at The Hard Interchange in Portsmouth in March Picture: Tom Cotterill

Resurfacing work at The Hard Interchange in Portsmouth in March Picture: Tom Cotterill

The council says it is seeking to recover the money and is investigating what is causing the surface to break up.

This cost came after a £9.2m redevelopment of the area.

The Hard acts as a link between rail, bus and ferry terminals for commuters and tourists. It is estimated that every week about 160,000 people pass through it.

However, Lib Dem leader at Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson was worried about the cost.

Tarmac that had already been damaged and patched over in January at The Hard  Picture: Vernon Nash

Tarmac that had already been damaged and patched over in January at The Hard Picture: Vernon Nash

He said: ‘It’s not just about the money now but long term because if there’s a problem with the design it won’t go away just by putting more tarmac down.

‘Millions of taxpayers’ money has already been spent on the interchange. It might have cost £8,500 this time but it could need another £8,500 spent on it a month later.

‘The Hard needs to be reviewed to see what has gone wrong and how it can be put right. Hopefully the council can learn from it.’

Martin Lavers, assistant director for infrastructure at the council, agreed that a more permanent solution was needed.

He said: ‘We have experienced some pavement defects at the Hard Interchange which have required temporary repairs.

‘We are working with the companies involved in building the interchange to investigate the issue and agree a more permanent solution.

‘This issue has not impacted services at the Hard Interchange and there has been no disruption to public bus and coach services.’

The repair work was carried out overnight on March 8 and during the day on March 12 and 13.

A council spokesman said there was no indication that the potholes were caused by the transport hub sinking or shifting.