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Hertfordshire County Council’s new inspection approach to tackling potholes and reducing costs has been praised by the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA).

In October 2015, the Council launched a triage inspection service to enable its highways contractor, Ringway, to respond to reported road defects more effectively and efficiently. The new approach involves a qualified inspector visiting the defect location, making an assessment and then arranging for the most appropriate remedial work to be carried out. This may be a permanent repair solution or a plan to resurface the wide road section. The use of an inspector allows for more accurate problem assessment and better planning and use of road repair crews. Previously, highway repairs crews had responded to defects reported by members of the public.

Between December 2015 and May 2016, triage inspectors have assessed 7,699 road and footway defects and service costs have been reduced by £730,000. The savings will be re-invested into road maintenance.

“The new triage approach by Hertfordshire County Council is proving to be very effective”, said Howard Robinson, RSTA chief executive. “The inspectors provide a detailed and knowledgeable assessment of the problem which forwards the selection of the right solution at the right time and at the right cost. Highway teams can plan their response more efficiently and carry out the most appropriate highway repair and maintenance.”

He continued: “Hertfordshire County Council are to be congratulated on their forward-thinking approach to road maintenance”.