Rochdale has some of the best roads in Greater Manchester

Date published: 18 August 2019

Rochdale has some of the least complained about roads in Greater Manchester, an annual survey has revealed, with one of the highest expenditure rates on road repairs.

An annual survey looking at the state of local roads across Greater Manchester has shown complaints about potholes are falling, but there’s been a huge spike in the number of legal claims for damage they’ve caused to motor vehicles.

Locally, whilst no specific road was reported as being the worst for general complaints, most complaints related to the M24 postcode area, Middleton.

For the financial year 2018/19, Rochdale Borough Council spent £6.4 million on road repairs – second only to Stockport, which shelled out a huge £9.22million.

It seems to show: numbers of complaints about potholes and road damage have decreased in the Rochdale borough over the last year, from 4,568, to just 1,072 – second only to Salford as having the least most-complained about roads.

Rochdale also had some of the least complained about roads in the region in 2016/17, again behind Salford.

152 claims were made for vehicle damages, down from 178 the previous year. Rochdale also had one of the fewest number of claims paid out with just 23 receiving pay-outs.

However, the amount of money paid out for these claims was greater: £8,504.05 compared to £6,889.88 for 29 claims.

Overall for the wider Greater Manchester region, the study shows general complaints are down by nearly a third, to 26,186 in 2018/19 from almost 40,000 the previous year, whilst the number of legal claims has risen sharply and stands at a record 2,127 – an increase of 25%.

Manchester Council recorded nearly half of that total figure, with 928 claims for vehicular damage received last year, a huge rise of 511% from the year before. It represents the highest increase of any local authority in the region.

In terms of general complaints about potholes, Manchester Council also topped the list with 8,150 – although that figure was down slightly from the previous year.

After taking Manchester out of the equation, of the ‘satellite’ authorities, Oldham was the worst performer with 3,276 pothole complaints.

Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We’ve ploughed an additional £12m into highway repairs because we know the state of our roads is a top priority for our residents.

“The substantial reduction in the number of complaints, which were less than a quarter in 2018/19 than they were in 2017/18, coupled with the reduction in claims made, shows that this additional investment is clearing having an impact.

“By summer 2021, this £12m investment, which is in addition to our annual £1.2m road repair budget, will have helped us repair over 900 roads across the borough.”

Federation of Small Businesses Area Lead for Greater Manchester, Phil Thompson said: “It’s great to see that most of the councils in GM splurging cash on their road networks, but it’s definitely a work in progress as our data shows.

“I would urge all road users to report potholes immediately. If councils don’t know about a problem, they can’t fix it. The longer a pothole is left the worse it becomes, and when a road requires closing to be fixed, that’s when we start to see traffic jams and issues for businesses.

“I would also add that if councils would like to see more of us switching to sustainable transport, like bikes, to reduce the region’s pollution levels, ensuring roads are safe for cyclists and walkers should be a priority.”

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