The prolonged periods of heavy rain, wind and flooding has taken its toll on the Island’s road network – as it has throughout the country – and, alongside the long-term highways upgrade programme, a number of immediate steps are being undertaken by Island Roads to tackle those sections of the highway that have been most badly affected.
Island Roads Operations Manager, Steve Jenkins said:
“To respond to these challenges, and alongside its existing practices, Island Roads will be bringing in additional resources and specialist equipment to enable us to target the worst of these defects.
“We are working extremely hard to prioritise and tackle these repairs and at the same time continuing with our scheduled programme of work to upgrade, maintain and manage the highway network. We have received in the region of 200 calls alone to report potholes in the two weeks since the beginning of the New Year and are dealing with in the region of 1,500 different defects each month alongside our continuing work to undertake street and gully cleansing, drainage, hedge cutting, signage, lighting installation, pavement works, road surfacing and other planned activity.
“With the prospect of colder weather ahead which will cause saturated ground to freeze and expand any defects, potentially weakening the roads further, we are committed to doing our upmost to treat as many of these as possible. It is a colossal task and we appeal to residents to be patient with us as we undertake this extensive programme of work.”
Councillor Jon Gilbey is the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member responsible for highways and said:
“We do recognise that many roads on the Island are in a poor condition and the recent adverse weather has exacerbated this problem. In April last year, Island Roads began its seven-year core investment programme to upgrade the highways network across the Island as part of the Highways PFI and significant improvements have already been seen in many areas.
“Running alongside this improvement programme is other regular work to maintain the highway network. Island Roads undertakes a regular inspection and monitoring programme, in line with national codes of practice, to manage the condition of the roads and to put in place repairs where these may be required ahead of scheduled longer-term improvement works.
“Over the festive period, the unprecedented weather conditions led to a considerable amount of deterioration to the highway network from potholes and collapsed drains to significant ground movement. The council is now working with Island Roads to try and address these issues.”
Sgt Dave Sanderson, of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Roads Policing Unit said:
“Whilst the weather continues to create difficult driving conditions, we ask the public to take the upmost care when driving on the roads and to respect the traffic management measures put in place around the Island to enable work to take place on the highways network.”
Photo: Shane Thornton