MP slams county on ‘delays’ in seeing to pothole problem

Norman Baker with potholes in Newhaven SUS-140929-154005001
Norman Baker with potholes in Newhaven SUS-140929-154005001

Polegate and Seaford MP Norman Baker has criticised East Sussex County Council after claiming they have not repaired roads quick enough after receiving millions of pounds from the government.

In January last year it was announced council’s across Sussex would be handed an extra £6m for the next two years to extend the life of the country’s weather-beaten highways of which East Sussex was awarded £2.3m.

Mr Baker says in June this year it was announced the county council would receive a further £1.5m to go towards covering the costs of pothole and surface repairs across the region, and could fund 27,000 pothole repairs across the county.

But Mr Baker claims residents are still having to drive, cycle and walk along roads and pavements which are broken up and pot marked.

He said, “The money has been provided and repairs have been alluded to for some time, now they just need to get on with it.

“This is an ongoing problem, for which money has been provided to make proper repairs, not a patchwork quilt of quick fills.

“It is not just about it not looking nice but is a real issue for damaging vehicles and causing trips and falls.

“There is absolutely no excuse for this type of road surface to be scattered across the constituency.”

But Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said the county council had repaired almost 40,000 this year.

He said: “We have invested more than £60m in improving the roads of East Sussex
 over the last three years, and we’re ploughing £55m 
into roads over the next two years.

“We repaired more than 64,000 potholes last year

“And we have repaired almost 40,000 this year, during a period when we had to cope with the effects of what 
was the wettest winter on record.

“We’ve just created a two-year programme of 
resurfacing, surface dressing and patching of roads 
across the county, which is available to view on our website.

“All the additional funding which has been received is being used for the purpose for which it was intended but we can only carry out planned resurfacing according to the limited staff and resources we have.

“The significant investment we’ve made has resulted in continuous improvement in the state of the country’s roads in recent years and every day our staff and contractors work hard to improve the roads of East Sussex.

“As a former tranport minister, Mr Baker is well aware of the limitation we have to work under and I find his intervention unhelpful and ill-informed.”