Gloucestershire's roads are pothole ridden, but are also creating a hole in our pockets.
DRIVERS negotiating the county's roads have become increasingly frustrated with the craters appearing across the district.
But the potholes littering Gloucestershire's roads are not only making drivers angry, but are costly to the taxpayer.
Gloucestershire County Council's highways will be getting an extra £2.7 million from the Government next year, as well using £3 million from its reserves, to fill in the craters.
However, highways managers estimate there is a £90 million maintenance backlog across the county. They are calling for more long-term national investment.
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Scott Tompkins, network manager, said: "The major cause of potholes is the freeze and thaw action, which is why the number of pothole defects will increase in the weeks and months following wet and cold weather.
"Road surfaces naturally deteriorate over time from both the wearing action of traffic and from weathering.
"As surfaces deteriorate, they lose their ability to stop water from penetrating the surface.
"Once this happens, the freezing and then thawing of this water, together with the pumping action from tyres, begins to break out defects in the road surface."
Along with fixing the potholes, the council is also having to deal with aggrieved motorists claiming cash for damage caused to their cars.
Mr Tompkins said sometimes when vehicles were travelling at high speed, the edges of potholes could damage tyres and suspensions.
But as long as a council is operating its safety inspection regime – it is not generally held liable for damage.
Around 95 per cent of highway damage claims are not successful and for the whole of last year the council paid out just £2,500 to motorists over potholes.
The cost of filling in a single pothole depends on its size, but on average can set the council back around £40.
Last year it repaired more than 40,000 safety defects on our roads and this year they anticipate completing closer to 50,000.
In this financial year, highways managers spent around £10.3 million on routine maintenance of roads, plus a further £14.5m of capital funding on structural projects such as resurfacing, structural patching and surface dressing roads.
Two of Cheltenham's worst roads for potholes are Tivoli Road and Andover Road.
So news they will be ripped up and resurfaced has been welcomed in that area.
The roads will be closed for a four-day period between Tuesday, April 2, and Friday, April 5, for the repairs.
Councillor Rob Garnham (Park, C) is pleased the work he has been pushing for is going ahead.
He said: "I would urge everyone to report potholes. If the council does not know about them it can't mend them."