A slice of funds from the scrapped northern leg of the HS2 rail line is to be spent filling in potholes in Cheshire West this month.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has confirmed the details of the additional roads to be treated this month, on top of its existing maintenance schedule.

The £1.262 million for the repairs comes from the Department for Transport’s Network North (HS2) grant, after Phase 2 of the rail project north of Birmingham was officially abandoned last October.

The roads to receive a full surface replacement are:

  • Chester Road, Kelsall
  • Norley Road, Norley
  • Norley Lane, Norley
  • Forest Road, Tarporley
  • Beach Road, Hartford
  • Cotton Lane, Chester
  • Ball Lane, Kingsley
  • Beech Lane, Northwich
  • Bracken Way, Frodsham
  • Nixon Drive, Winsford
  • Yatehouse Lane, Byley
  • Marbury Road, Comberbach

Roadworks began last month and these are expected to be completed by March 20.

In addition, roads which will receive targeted replacement 'patches' are:

  • Avondale, Whitby
  • Trentdale, Whitby
  • Bentley Farm Lane, Whitley
  • Manora Road, Northwich
  • Carlton Road, Northwich
  • Sycamore Drive, Whitby
  • The Crescent, Hartford
  • Patmos Lane, Nether Peover
  • Cape Lane, Nether Peover
  • New Road, Anderton with Marbury
  • Marbury Road, Anderton with Marbury

These roadworks are expected to be completed by March 28.

CWaC is already committed to treating the following roads by the end of March (some of these works have already been completed):

  • Footway reconstruction – Deansway, Tarvin and Cromwell Road, Ellesmere Port, by March 8.
  • Footway microasphalt surfacing until March 18 – Primrose Lane, Helsby; Hillfield Road, Starbeck Drive, Rossfield Road and Grappenhall Road, Ellesmere Port; Parkgate Road, Mollington; Stamford Road, Blacon; Vincent Drive, Westminster Park; Christleton Road, Boughton; Willington Road and Chester Road, Kelsall.
  • Carriageway microasphalt patching, via 'Rejuvopatch' until March 28 – School Street, Cedar Grove and Cedar Drive, Hoole; Heath Lane, Belgrave Road, Marbury Road and Naomi Close, Great Boughton; Cross o the Hill Road, Bickley, Malpas; Orchard Park Lane, Elton; St Peters Way, Mickle Trafford; Hollands Lane, Kelsall; Belle Vue Lane, Guilden Sutton; Rookery Road, Tilston; Netherton Drive, Frodsham; Cross Street and Riverside, Neston; The Knowe, Willaston; The Parade and Hamilton Close, Parkgate; Stryker Avenue, Bailey Avenue and Westenra Avenue, Ellesmere Port.
  • Carriageway resurfacing – Boundary Lane, Saltney and Old Dee Bridge, Chester.
  • Carriageway retread – Lea Lane, Aldford; Marsh House Lane and Crewe Hill Lane, Farndon.

Site investigations have taken place on these roads for works to be carried out in summer 2024: Newnham Drive and St Andrews Road, Ellesmere Port; Mill Lane and Hollow Lane, Kingsley; Marian Drive, Great Boughton.

Carriageway patching preparation works have taken place at these roads ahead of surface treatment in summer 2024: Park Drive, Blackthorne Avenue and Cromwell Road, Ellesmere Port; Darlington Crescent, Saughall, Earlsway, Chester; Manley Road and High Street Frodsham; Ledsham Lane, Ledsham

Full feasibility and scoping has not taken place for the 2024/25 programme, where an additional £1.262 million of redirected HS2 funds will be spent. These schemes will be assessed and confirmed at the start of the new financial year.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, transport and highways, Cllr Karen Shore said: “The next few months will be an incredibly busy time for our Highways Service. These additional schemes will be completed on top of the existing works we had planned.

“By the end of March this additional funding has helped our teams resurface a total of 43,200 square metres of road carriageway in the borough.”

Teams will be using some innovative products and machinery to carry out these schemes. For example, a vehicle which uses a dual-fuel system which injects hydrogen into the engine to displace up to 40 per cent of diesel fuel.

Plus, a cold ‘recycling’ method is also being used to reconstruct carriageway or footway in-situ, as well as ‘Rejuvopatch’, a product which allows repairs to quickly take place across large areas.

Cllr Shore added: “Unfortunately, this time of year is always busy due to the formation of potholes due to wet and cold weather impacting any road surface, whether relatively new or old. We’re doing all we can to ensure as much of the road network is repaired and running as smoothly as possible this spring and have deployed extra teams to work specifically on pothole repairs.”

Potholes are caused when water seeps through cracks in the road caused by passing vehicles. During periods of extreme cold, the water freezes and expands. This causes more cracks to form in the road; the asphalt is then pushed out like a bubble.

The ice thaws and milder weather dries up all the water and creates a hole under the surface of the road. This gets larger every time water seeps into the hole, freezes and expands.

With the base weakened, the weight of traffic causes the road surface to collapse into the hole that was formed from water freezing, expanding and thawing under the surface. A pothole is formed once the road surface has collapsed; wear from traffic then makes the hole bigger.

This is not always a lengthy process either, under the right conditions potholes can develop very quickly, sometimes in as little as 24 hours.

Quarterly updates will be reported on the council’s website once approved by the Department for Transport as per grant requirements. Once confirmation of future allocations is received, Cheshire West and Chester will produce a long-term plan for the full 11-year funding increase.