ROAD workers in and around Ashbourne are working extra hours to help fix the backlog of potholes caused by extreme wet weather in the past few weeks.
Prolonged and heavy downpours battered roads across the county causing extensive damage in some places.
Over the past five weeks, the Derbyshire County Council’s Call Derbyshire contact centre received an average of 780 road-related calls a week.
That is in addition to potholes reported online.
The county council carries out a rolling programme of road repairs but extra staff, including external contractors, have been brought in to help deal with the problem.
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, said: “Fortunately in Derbyshire we avoided the widespread flooding suffered by other areas of the country.
“But the extreme weather did take its toll on our roads.
“I can assure people that we’re doing all we can to repair our roads as quickly as possible.
“We look after more than 3,000 miles of roads across Derbyshire so it’s a massive job but fixing potholes is our number one priority at the moment.
“We’re working through the backlog as fast as we can so please bear with us – and rest assured that if you report it, we will sort it.”
So far this year, the county council has received 7,633 reports about potholes compared to 5,295 during the same period last year.
That represents an increase of 44 per cent.
Principal engineer, Glyn Dutton, explained why so many potholes have appeared on the county’s roads in recent weeks: “Potholes are caused when rainwater finds its way under the road surface through tiny cracks in the road.
“The sheer volume of water on our roads in recent weeks and the force it created pushed up the road surface from below breaking up the asphalt.
“The problem is made worse by freezing temperatures because the water expands in the cracks as it turns to ice and breaks up the road surface even further causing more damage.
“If you spot a pothole report it and we’ll sort it.
“Tell us online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/reportit or by calling us on 01629 533190.”