THE Vale Council has completed the first phase of the BIG Fill - which sees the highways team and contractor Birkett LGA Ltd pledging to fill potholes in every ward in the Vale.

They have already visited six wards in Barry, using 200 tonnes of tarmac and covering an area of approximately 2000 square meters.

The BIG Fill will be back to finish the job in 2013 - with Phase 2 moving into Penarth in February, March and April.

To thank residents for supporting the campaign, the Vale's highways team called into Penarth town centre to hand out some small Christmas gifts such as BIG Fill branded pens and mugs – generously donated by Birkett LGA – to local residents.

Cabinet member for the environment and visible services Cllr Rob Curtis said: “The BIG Fill launched this September in response to residents’ requests of wanting to see further improvement to Vale roads.

“Residents have already told us that they are starting to see a difference. After such a great response to Phase 1 of the campaign, our teams are looking forward to filling more potholes on the Vale’s roads in the New Year - and we’re calling on all residents to support our campaign.”

With cold weather on the way this winter, the BIG Fill team are ready for their next challenge.

Routine maintenance manager Ken Evans said: “People don’t always realise how potholes are formed - age and frost both have an adverse effect on our roads.

“As water seeps down, it freezes, expands and gradually breaks the surface, causing parts of the road to loosen. Vehicles driving over it will then cause a pothole to form.

“There have been instances where we have repaired a road and, days later, the cold weather causes a new pothole nearby. People sometimes don’t think we have responded to a hole they have reported, whereas conditions have caused a new hole to form.

“But our crews will continue to work very hard to keep the Vale’s roads pothole-free.”

The second phase of The BIG Fill campaign runs from January to April 2013, seeing crews focusing on:

* Baruc (January 12-13),

* Gibbonsdown (January 26-27),

* Llantwit Major (February 9-10),

* Llandough (February 23-24),

* Cornerswell (March 9-10),

* St Augustines (March 23-24),

* Stanwell (April 6-7),

* Plymouth (April 20-21).