The recent severe weather has placed unprecedented strain on the road network. We continue to ask for your support in reporting issues promptly on the website and for your patience as the Highways Team seek to triage and fix road defects as fast as they can.

Whilst the weather has improved slightly in the last week, the overnight freezing temperatures have continued to exacerbate the pothole situation with many more now appearing, particularly in rural areas. Service demand across the county remains extremely high. Both our officers and contractors continue to work extended hours (including weekends) to try and keep on top of the situation. However, demand far exceeds capacity at the present time and consequently all work is having to be prioritised so that the highest risk issues are repaired first, and this will include the continued use of temporary ‘infill’ repairs. Milestone are doing everything they can to secure more gangs and equipment for Hampshire and when more resource becomes available it is being deployed immediately. It will be many weeks, if not months, before we are back to anything like business-as-usual.

Some of our senior officers attended a briefing session with both the Met Office and the Environment Agency last week. Unfortunately, it looks like there is more unfavourable weather on the way. The Met Office are suggesting that the weather in February is most likely to be unsettled, with the potential for more periods of stormy conditions and some further cold spells.

Heavy and prolonged rainfall during late December and early January has resulted in saturated catchments in many Hampshire areas with consequential surface water flooding (and ice problems) on some routes.  The Highways Team is currently prioritising gully/manhole cleansing and ditch/grip clearance in those areas likely to be most vulnerable to ensure that, at the very least, our highway drainage systems are clear and operational.

We are very grateful to Parish Councils and to communities for your understanding of this challenging situation.

County Councillor for Petersfield Hangers

February 2023

By paulE