Weather causes increase in potholes in Falkirk district

Potholes, such as this one one on the corner of Falkirk's Bantaskine Road and Windsor Avenue, are a growing problem
Potholes, such as this one one on the corner of Falkirk's Bantaskine Road and Windsor Avenue, are a growing problem

Ice and snow have been blamed for causing a five-fold increase in potholes in the Falkirk district.

Drivers are being urged to take care on the roads after it emerged Falkirk Council received 573 pothole reports in January alone, compared to 112 during the same period last year.

Robert McMaster, the local authority’s head of design, roads and transport, warned motorists the problem could take some time to fix as his teams battle through a backlog of work.

He said: “Because of the sheer number, it’s going to be days to weeks to get to some of them.

“The whole of central Scotland has been affected by a very severe period of snowy and icy weather.

“It freezes and thaws out and gets into the road then stretches and pops out old potholes and makes new ones appear. A lot of old potholes have lost their filling.

“We’ve got a five-fold increase this January compared to last January, when the figure was 112. This January — and the figure is only up to January 30, so it could still be more — it was 573.

“It’s a reactive repair — you can’t plan to repair a pothole because you don’t know where it’s going to appear.

“We will go to the most serious ones first of all and then the lesser potholes and we will keep at it.”

Mr McMaster has written to councillors in a bid to highlight the extent of the problem.

In an email, he told the region’s representatives the roads department is “overwhelmed with reports of potholes”.

Mr McMaster also encouraged drivers to continue to play their part by alerting the council to potholes on the district’s roads.

He added: “Please drive to the conditions and if you spot a pothole, please report it.

“There is an online tool or you can phone up the help desk. Just take care when you are driving.”

Search ‘Falkirk Council roads maintenance’ or call the roads department on 01324 506070 to report a pothole.

Alternatively, email contact.centre@falkirk.gov.uk.