Public potholes fillers in Devon

A new initiative by Devon County Council wants to encourage an army of volunteers to fix potholes the council cannot afford to fix themselves.

The Community Road Wardens initiative, believed to be the first of its kind, will see the council recruiting and training public volunteers to fill in holes and supplied with the equipment and materials needed.

Community Road Wardens can act as their town or parish’s primary point of contact with the County Council’s local Neighbourhood Highway Officers, and the scheme enables communities to undertake some local priority work.

A pilot scheme run in five council parishes - Bradford and Cookbury, Broadclyst, Clyst Hydon, Plymtree, and Sidmouth- has proven successful, meaning the council will pursue plans to roll-out the scene throughout the county.

The Department for Transport has shown an interest in Devon’s innovative work on the Road Warden scheme, and the council is hoping the scheme will help attract more funding for highway maintenance in the county in future.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for Highway Management, said: “Minor pothole repairs have been successfully trialled by our Community Road Wardens in a number of pilot areas across the county and the results have been impressive. I’m pleased that we’ve have had chance to make sure the system is tried and tested and I’m sure other wardens across the county will now want to take up the opportunity to carry out similar work.

“The Road Warden scheme came from requests from local councils asking to be allowed to do more, as we’re unable to do as much of the minor work as we continue to face budget reductions from central government. The Community Road Wardens complements our highway maintenance service by providing flexible support which enables communities to deliver their own priority needs.”