Leeds: How many blokes to fix hole in a road?

PIC: Christopher Ward
PIC: Christopher Ward
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HOW many blokes does it take to fix a hole in a road?

The answer, residents in one part of Guiseley could perhaps be forgiven for thinking, is too many.

For householders on The Oaks were left bemused when nearly 20 yellow-jacketed workmen and officials turned out on their street, apparently to deal with a spot of resurfacing.

One local was so infuriated by what he thought was a waste of council resources during the so-called ‘age of austerity’, he took a series of snaps of the repair operation and sent them to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The truth behind the pictures, however, provides proof that the camera CAN sometimes lie.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council told the YEP today: “This was a demonstration, by a private business, of a machine which helps repair damaged roads.

“We always need to see any potential new machinery in action and chose this street as it had sections which needed repairing.

“Just six officers from the council attended and were joined by several employees from the manufacturer and staff from another interested organisation.”

The YEP revealed earlier this year that Leeds would require a whopping £56m to carry out all the work that needs doing on its 1,860-mile road system.

That figure dwarfs the £1.8m the city has been allocated from a Government fund set up to tackle the widespread pothole problems caused by the recent big freeze.

Announced by Chancellor George Osborne in March’s Budget, the fund made a total of £200m available to councils nationwide for road repairs.

Kirklees Council is due to get £1.3m while Wakefield Council will receive just over £830,000.

Potholes are created when water freezes in small cracks in the road, expanding and then forming a larger cavity.

The winter of 2010-11 was one of the worst in living memory and included the UK’s coldest December since records began.

Leeds City Council recently received 278 compensation claims in the space of just two months related to the city’s carriageways, all said to be “highly likely” to involve potholes.

It set aside £2.5m in 2005-06 alone to deal with insurance liability cases.

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