Smoothing the way

Thousands of potholes have been filled and approximately 173,000 square metres  of roads resurfaced, equivalent to the area covered by 24 football pitches, across Bath and North East Somerset this year.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Highways team have completed their road resurfacing programme on time and on budget.

Working in partnership with its contractor VolkerHighways, the council has . replaced more than 32 kilometres of worn out carriageway with thirty-five road resurfacing schemes completed including Queen Square in Bath, Charlton Road in Keynsham and Eastfield Avenue in Weston. 

Ahead of the work safety inspections were carried out and roads in the worst condition were prioritised and repaired first.

Drainage improvement schemes have also been completed in Lansdown Lane, Lansdown; High Street, Bathampton; and Stockwood Hill, Keynsham.

In total over the past seven months:

  • 2794  potholes have been filled
  • 5114 planned highway safety inspections have been carried out
  • 1805 reactive inspections have been completed
  • 8690 highway gullies have been cleaned
  • 1330 street lighting faults have been repaired

Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said:

“Road safety is a key priority and maintaining our highway network to a good standard is essential, particularly during a pandemic, when it is more crucial than ever to ensure safe conditions for emergency and critical service workers and the continuity of essential delivery services.

“Covid-19 has proved challenging with staff having to self-isolate and work within government restrictions.  However, our team and contractors adapted quickly and rose to that challenge.  Ahead of lockdown, we secured additional pothole filling materials in case of shortages in supply. We took advantage of the good weather and the reduction in traffic to refresh road markings in areas such as Keynsham and Bath city centre. We’ve put in the necessary infrastructure for the Clean Air Zone and all our resurfacing work has been completed, which means residents in the areas where work was carried out are now benefitting from smoother, quieter roads.”

During the course of the year the council and VolkerHighways have worked with a host of contractors including Wainwrights Surfacing, Miles Macadam, F1 Lining and Hooke Highways (traffic management) to safely deliver the schemes to a very high standard. 

Councillor Neil Butters, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “Due to the pandemic the programme of work had to be carefully managed with work taking place both during the day and overnight to minimise the impact on residents and businesses. The resurfacing of Walcot Street in Bath proved particularly challenging as it was carried out during lockdown. It meant the council had to work closely with the local Waitrose supermarket to ensure deliveries weren’t affected and be mindful of residents queuing around the building.”

Away from the district’s road network, with increased use of Public Rights of Way during lockdown the team worked hard to maintain access for residents taking their daily exercise. 

Over the coming months the Highways team will start to draw up next year’s programme of work looking at defects reported by residents via Fix My Street and carrying out carriageway surveys and site inspections. 

To report a problem with the council’s roads, pavements or parks visit:

Bath & North East Somerset Council looks after 1,274 kilometres of roads, and on average spreads 2,800 tonnes of road salt each winter. It routinely cleanses 24,000 highway gullies and annually fills on average 4,700 potholes.