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Pothole problems addressed with help of Love Jersey app

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AN average of one pothole per day on a Jersey road is being reported to authorities through a mobile phone app.

The Love Jersey app can be used to report a range of problems

The Love Jersey app was launched two years ago, giving Islanders the chance to notify government departments of a range of problems, including litter and fly-tipping.

Newly published figures show, from 1 May 2016 to 4 July 2018, there were 660 reports of potholes.

The majority of those were dealt with by the Infrastructure Department, with the remaining 158 passed on to other States departments, the Jersey Development Company and individual parishes.

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis said: ‘We’ve got an increase in our budget to repair roads this year to help us bring them all up to date. I want all roads to be first class, but that will take several years and a lot of money.

‘The speed at which we can repair potholes thanks to reports via the app is incredible. They go to a central control that then passes them on to the right department or parish. It’s instant. We’ve fixed a pothole, in one case, within half an hour.’

He added that fixing them faster saved more money in the long run: ‘It saves degradation of the potholes. Heavy vehicles don’t do the roads any good, and potholes don’t do vehicles any good. And there’s a safety aspect to consider. If a bike or a motorcycle hits a pothole, it can be nasty.’

The app is described by the government as ‘making it easier to report anything that is unsightly, in need of cleaning or repair, or a potential problem anywhere in the Island’. Users simply take a photograph of the issue using the app, which automatically tags the location.

Infrastructure uses a scale to prioritise potholes: emergency, which must be fixed within two days; urgent, within five days; requires correction, within 20 days and no action required. Officers from the department check all complaints are dealt with within those timescales, but do not follow up those that are passed on to other departments and bodies.

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When asked how Jersey fared with the scale of pothole problems compared to other jurisdictions, he said: ‘We’re as good or bad as anywhere else. That said, in the UK there are some seriously bad roads and local authorities are even asking local people to fix them. We definitely don’t want them to do that in Jersey.’

A specialist team from the Infrastructure Department routinely checks major routes, including the Ring Road, Victoria Avenue, Beaumont Hill and the roads to the Airport. They are all inspected at least every three weeks.

Tackling potholes quickly is just one of a number of initiatives to improve the state of the Island’s roads. Resurfacing teams are also using a product called Grip Fibre, which is sprayed on patch repairs to roads before the new surface is laid on top. The minister says that it can extend the life of repairs by ten to 15 years.

You can download the app by searching ‘Love Jersey’ in the App Store.

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