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DfT backs new Smartphone app to pinpoint potholesBack

potholesThe Department for Transport (DfT) has said it will provide funding to enable the National Cycling Charity (CTC) to remodel its ‘Fill that hole’ website and develop a new potholes app.

The government has agreed to donate £30,000 towards the development of a new and innovative smartphone app which will enable people to report potholes as and when they spot them on the roads.

More than 9 million iPhone users can download the website’s current app to report potholed roads to their local councils, but the new app designed for smartphones could see figures boost to more than 26 million.

The new app is expected to be ready in February at the beginning of the pothole season when the damage to Britain’s roads is at its greatest.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The government is serious about tackling potholes. At best they are an irritation but at worst they can damage vehicles and pose a serious danger to cyclists. That is why we want people to tell councils where to find them so they can fill them in. This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily.

“Filling potholes in quickly is only one half of the story. Research has also shown a long-term approach to road maintenance, rather than patch and mend, can save councils and taxpayers money and potentially save lives thanks to better road conditions.”

CTC originally developed its app for cyclists who can receive life-changing injuries from undiscovered potholes, but it is now used by all types of road user, from delivery drivers to motorists concerned about potential damage to their vehicle.

The app sends local authorities up-to-the-minute information about potholes which the council may not otherwise know about, allowing them to identify trouble spots which are in need of action fast.

In the past year around £23.8 million was paid in compensation by local authorities across England due to the poor condition of their roads according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance.

The support for the app comes as more local authorities adopt new government guidelines which urge councils to plan extensive maintenance well in advance, rather than years of costly ‘patching’ as potholes appear – saving the taxpayer money.

To view the ‘Fill that hole’ app imagery click here.

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 31/12/2013