A PILOT scheme to fix potholes has proven successful and is now set to benefit the region.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has gathered a group of FixMyStreet ‘superusers’ to tackle Witney’s potholes.

FixMyStreet allows locals to report potholes and other problems directly to their local authority, which will then order inspections of the problem, and if appropriate, commission repairs.

The superuser initiative however means local residents can undertake training to inspect the problems themselves.

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The superusers work in conjunction with the county council highways and volunteer coordination officers, and are authorised to tackle potholes across the town, with the exception of A roads, outlining any reported problem in spray paint.

Following a successful pilot scheme, the project is now set to be rolled out further across West Oxfordshire.

Resident Michael Brooker has been trained to inspect and mark defects in the road and pavements, and was pleased to be part of the grassroots initiative.

He said: “In the past, I’ve been one of those people who constantly complains about the state of the roads, so I thought it was time to take action myself and actually do something practical to help make a difference.

“The repairs get done a lot quicker and it means that residents are a lot happier, and safer too.”

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Witney South councillor, and new superuser, Owen Collins said: “The Super User scheme is great as it effectively cuts out the middle man and means the necessary repairs can be ordered straight away – rather than waiting up to another month, as the problem deteriorates further.”

Councillor for Witney Central, Luci Ashbourne, added: “Anything that empowers residents to play a part in bettering their community is a win with me.

“The state of the roads and footpaths is the number one issue that comes up on the doorstep.

“The superuser initiative is the perfect way to enable local people to be the eyes on the ground, and work with highways to ensure that repairs are carried out as efficiently and effectively in terms of cost and time as possible.”

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The new initiative has been supported by community action group Witney Land Army, run by Witney town councillor Vicky Gwatkin.

She said: “The purpose of the Witney Land Army is to identify and act on community-identified priorities.

“Potholes always come fairly near the top of that list and therefore the Oxfordshire County Council pilot was too good an opportunity to miss.

“Since signing up in August, we have reported and had fixed over 120 potholes in Witney, and we’re therefore really pleased that OCC have decided to move the initiative out of the pilot stage.”