MP slams ‘poor pothole performance’

Lewes MP Norman Baker
Lewes MP Norman Baker
  • Baker demands review of council’s operational practices
  • Complaints of multiple visits to sites but no works completed
  • We are repairing around 60,000 potholes every year, says ESCC
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Lewes MP Norman Baker is demanding a review of the operational practices East Sussex County Council is following to repair potholes across the county.

The Lib Dem member said the county council is “wasting money” having received complaints from constituents across the area about what he described as the council’s poor performance over pothole repairs.

Mr Baker is writing to Rupert Clubb, Transport Director at County Hall, to ask for a root and branch review of operational practices.

Complaints received by the MP from his constituents have included:

Reports of the county council visiting sites multiple times in three years, putting down lots of chalk marks but ultimately no works completed.

In Bishopstone, for example, holes have been marked eight times in three years without any repairs having been carried out.

Repairing a marked pothole but leaving surrounding potholes because they are not on the job sheet, resulting in repeat visits, as reported by Seaford residents.

Reporting of potholes via the council’s ‘Fix My Street’ zone on its website – but having been logged, no works have been completed up to two months later, such as Gilda Crescent in Polegate.

Potholes reappearing in the same place shortly after they have been ‘mended’.

Mr Baker said, “To repeatedly go out to a site and do nothing, like in Bishopstone, or a ‘jobs-worth’ attitude to repair one pothole but not one next to it is just a waste of time and money.

“Road users and residents want repairs done in a timely, effective and efficient manner, but what I am hearing is that this is not happening. It is high time they were.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “We have yet to receive Mr Baker’s letter, but will respond to him directly once we do.

“Like all highways authorities, we have to prioritise the repair of potholes to ensure we deal with the worst as quickly as possible.

“We are repairing around 60,000 potholes every year across East Sussex which requires a great deal of careful planning and logistics.

“We are also investing millions in resurfacing projects to ensure roads throughout the county are maintained to a high standard.

“Surveys carried out every year have shown an improvement in the condition of East Sussex’s road network year on year since 2007.”