HIGHWAYS bosses preparing the roads for winter have filled in an extra 2,000 potholes in a matter of weeks.

Essex County Council fills in more than 1,000 safety critical potholes in the county each month.

Hundreds of potholes appeared over the winter months while the Beast from the East brought more bad weather in March, causing serious damage to the road surfaces.

Since the end of October the council has also filled in an additional 2,753 defects.

These works included potholes put forward by councillors asked to draw up a list of the 20 worst offenders in their ward. County Hall is using £2.4million to fill the potholes by spring.

In total 882 defects on pavements were also fixed in November.

This year is the first year where highways crews have continued to carry out non-emergency roadworks from November to January.

Kevin Bentley, infrastructure boss, said: “I am delighted that our extra crews are not only fixing the potholes put forward by my councillor colleagues, but also thousands of others too. Although some of them might be smaller defects at the moment, it’s very useful to fill them to prevent them getting worse.

“I promised I would do whatever it takes to fill and prevent more potholes across the county, and it is clear that the approach we are taking – using the “jet” or injection-patching machines, the multi-hog grinder, thermal patcher and hot asphalt - are all proving effective.

“I am confident we are in a good position if we do experience an adverse change to the winter weather and that our ability to respond effectively is improving.

"I would like to thank all the crews who are working hard this winter to keep us moving safely on across the highways network.”

From Christmas Eve to January 2, repair crews will only carry out safety emergencies.

Gritter crews are on standby to work as required on all days and nights, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.