Surely the most efficient way to identify potholes would be to adopt the method used by some councils that have installed cameras on refuse wagons which monitor the quality of the highway as the trucks go along.
The results are fed back to road repair staff who then plan the repair of potholes and highway maintenence. This saves a lot of money in not having to send out highway survey teams and helps ensure the worst potholes are dealt with promptly.
It’s obviously easier to set up such a system when the council manages and operates both the refuse services AND the highways maintenance service - that does not apply in Sheffield. But no doubt Veolia and Amey as contractors will be able to find a profitable way to provide the service.
But perhaps the Streets Ahead and Veolia contracts cannot be altered, as shown by failing attempts by tree campaigners to have the Streets Ahead contract amended to allow a more nuanced approach to the felling and maintenance of street trees. If this is the case and the contracts cannot be altered then does this mean that new operating methods cannot be used?
I’d like to think staff have built in a methodology to amend the contracts to allow changes in appropriate circumstances. If that is the case then will our council begin to implement a sensible, efficient and lower cost way of watching and fixing potholes?