Will Volunteer Fix-My-Street Superusers Make Any Difference to Fixing Our Potholes?

Six new Fix-My-Street Superusers have been trained by Oxfordshire County Council in Henley to mark and report potholes around the town, however the procedure to fix the potholes remains the same of up to 28 days if not deemed as a priority.

The Superusers include Henley Conservatives Pauline Vahey, Jilly Carter and Tracy Scott (pictured below) who have taken it on as one of their initiatives.   They first completed some online training on what qualifies as a pothole (minimum depth of 40mm and at least 150mm x 150mm in length and width) and then attended a practical in person training session when they were provided with high vis jackets, tape measures and white spray paint.  Afterwards they have been given special access to Fix-My Street which identifies them as a Superuser to report and upload photos.  As well as potholes, the Superusers can report defective curbs, footpaths.  They can only report and mark up potholes on B roads or A roads that have a speed limit of 30mph or less and do not have red spray paint for those that are deemed a priority to fix within 24 hours.

They have been out this week marking up potholes including Kings Road where at least 5 drivers have seriously damaged their tyres.

In 2022/2023, OCC paid Milestone £2,858,038 to fix potholes across the County. The number of compensation claims relating to potholes have quadrupled over the last 3 years – from 352 cases to 1422 (an increase of 120%) and they have spent £170K on legal fees.

Will this initiative make any difference to the fixing of potholes and the quality of those fixes? Under a FOI request by one of our readers, OCC admitted that “there was no procedure for review” of before and after photos of works by Milestone due to there being 30,000 defects across the County per year.  Milestone contract is due to end in March 2025 and the contract is out to tender.

Pauline Vahey said, “I take my civic duties very seriously.  I know it is blatantly obvious that OCC needs some help so I’m doing it.  I always think you should stop moaning about something or do something about it.”

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