Repairs not up to scratch, says councillor

Potholes and damaged surface of roads in Eastbourne. February 12th 2013 E07133P'Jct. Ramsey Way and Hardy Drive
Potholes and damaged surface of roads in Eastbourne. February 12th 2013 E07133P'Jct. Ramsey Way and Hardy Drive

Potholes got Herald readers talking this week, after cold weather and poor repair jobs have seen hundreds appearing on the town’s roads and creating havoc for motorists.

Things may be warming up for the weekend, but the cold icy conditions back in January caused a noticeable increase in potholes across Eastbourne.

Readers have been in touch via Facebook and www.eastbourneherald.co.uk with locations of some of the biggest, dangerous and most damaging offenders.

And Herald photographer Stephen Curtis took to the roads of Eastbourne this week to take pictures of the potholes readers are most concerned about.

East Sussex County Councillors Stephen and Daniel Shing say Farmlands in Polegate is badly affected.

Cllr Daniel Shing said, “A number of residents have reported to me about the potholes in Farmlands which are very dangerous to children cycling to and from the schools.

“These potholes are also large enough to fit a passing car’s wheel. Some have been present since before the winter.”

The pair have reported the matter to the County Council because they say urgent repairs are needed to ensure the safety of local school children.

The council says it is taking a pro-active approach and encouraging people to let them know about the worst potholes in Eastbourne.

Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment at the county council, said, “This year alone we’ve spent £19.5m on road resurfacing. But even with this level of investment we will still get additional problems occurring when severe weather hits us.

“We’re sending extra work gangs out to repair the most serious potholes as soon as they are reported.

“We have to prioritise our work - so the largest holes on the busiest routes will be at the top of our list.”

But it seems the biggest bugbear among Herald readers is the quality of the repairs.

Eastbourne Borough Councillor Patrick Warner said, “What I have found is that often the sub contractor does not seem to repair them to the standard set by the county council.

“Only the other day, a constituent advised me that one of the crews turned up, tipped some tarmac into the hole, jumped up and down on it a couple of times and then drove off and this was a repeat repair following a previous similarly shoddy attempt.

“I am now working with Highways officers to crack down on poor quality repairs and ensure taxpayers do not have to pay for sub-standard repairs.

“All holes should be cut out properly, completely filled and sealed around the edge in order to last as long as possible and I understand that doing the job properly only takes minutes longer.”

Roger Williams, head of highways, said, “We are grateful to residents for reporting problems and agree this standard of work is not acceptable. We have spoken with our contractor and made our concerns very clear.

“Any repair work not up to scratch will be redone at their own expense.”

If you have seen a pothole which needs repairing call the county council on 0345 60 80 193, via Twitter @esccroads or online www.eastsussex.gov.uk/fault.