Tour de France: Sheffield roads getting ready for Grand Depart

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Workers have covered the distance of Sheffield to the German city of Cologne in the mission to repair city roads.

Council contractor Amey has cleared up more than 13,000 complaints of potholes from residents in the past 18 months – with some of the heaviest rainfall and longest periods of snow and ice in recent years.

The highways team, working with the Streets Ahead resurfacing project, are divided across 14 areas to ensure a rapid response to incidents.

Holes deemed an immediate hazard are repaired within 24 hours, while less urgent reports are dealt with in 28 days.

And with less than 100 days until the Tour de France the firm is confident the route will be pothole-free for cyclists by the summer.

Amey highways maintenance manager Jim Pursglove said: “Streets Ahead is resurfacing the roads, but in the short term highways maintenance are there to ensure that our roads are safe.

“Even if we know an area is scheduled for work the next week we can’t rely on that. Safety is our top priority.

“We had two very severe winters and fortunately this one was not as harsh, but heavy rainfall still causes them.

“The Tour de France team have been out and identified the work we need to carry out. We’ve got plenty of time and we’re confident we’re going to have no problems getting it done.

“Our inspectors will identify potholes while they’re out on the roads, but there’s half a million people in Sheffield, so they’re much better placed to tell us where they are.”

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “We are doing a huge amount of work to upgrade the condition of the roads and pavements and we believe we are doing more resurfacing than any other city in England.

“This will mean fewer potholes as more resurfacing takes place.

“We’re committed to transforming our roads from some of the worst in the country to the best.”