The Right Honourable David Cameron MP, the Prime Minister has visited the Oxfordshire County Council Highways site in Long Wittenham.
There he saw a pothole being filled by the council’s contractor Skanska and learnt more about the scale of the pothole problem in Oxfordshire from the county council’s Leader, Cllr Ian Hudspeth and Cabinet member for transport, Cllr David Nimmo Smith.
The Prime Minister met the crew who, on a daily basis, are fixing the county’s potholes and was given a good insight into the process and time taken to a fix a range of highways problems.
The visit coincided with the Government opening the bidding process for a £168 million fund aimed at helping councils tackle potholes. Oxfordshire County Council, which looks after 2,800 miles of road, has fixed more than 36,000 potholes in the last year.
Jim Daughton, Business Director for Skanska said: “The Prime Minister asked some very pertinent questions about how we repair potholes and the impact it has on cyclists. Our team works very hard to ensure safe journeys across the county.”
Ian McLellan, Operations Manager for Skanska in Oxfordshire, who accompanied the Prime Minister around the site, said: “The number of potholes we fix each year goes up. It was great to see the Prime Minister getting a real feel for the work we are doing to repair our roads following the recent floods. ”
County Councillor Ian Hudspeth said: “I was pleased to be able to spend some time with the Prime Minister and for him to be able to see first-hand the problems we have here in Oxfordshire.
“The county council always works hard to maintain the roads and fix potholes as soon as we can. To do this costs money, and so the Government’s latest funding announcement is very welcome.”
Skanska will be importing a Swedish jet patching machine this weekend. The machine provides an innovative and efficient solution to fixing potholes, reducing traditional work times by up to half. The patcher will be trialled over four weeks across Skanska highways sites in the UK.