An ambitious promise to fix all reported potholes more than 40mm deep within 24 hours has launched a fight back by the Royal Borough's ruling Conservatives after their recent election drubbing.

The new pothole scheme, due to launch on September 1 forms part of a series of commitments to improve highways across the Royal Borough and will see all reported potholes over 40mm deep on roads and over 25mm deep on footpaths fixed within 24 hours - regardless of which type of road or path is involved. Currently, only potholes over 40mm deep on high speed or strategic routes or potholes over 25mm in town centre locations have to be fixed within 24 hours if reported before 5pm Friday.

Potholes reported over the weekend will be repaired by 9am Tuesday.

Cllr Andrew Johnson, lead member for infrastructure, transport policy and housing said: “Delivering our key commitment of investing more than £50m in our highways and pavements over the next four years is one of our top priorities.

“We know potholes are an important issue for residents, which is why we have moved to deliver this pledge early and ensure they are fixed as quickly as possible.

“This change to our pothole policy will mean we have some of the quickest response times to potholes in the county and beyond and demonstrates that we take the safety of all highways users very seriously.”

The new pothole scheme will sit alongside the council’s ‘find and fix’ scheme which has accelerated works in high footfall areas.