Councillor calls for action after highlighting dangerous potholes on town's roads
PUBLISHED: 08:59 30 March 2018
A damning report from a Beccles councillor has slammed the county council's handling of potholes in the town.
Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw submitted a report to Suffolk County Council (SCC) outlining a number of potholes which she says it has failed to deal with adequately.
Dangerous and potentially damaging potholes near Beccles bus station, on the junction between Blyburgate and Ingate, and 14 separate potholes on Ashman’s Road have been highlighted, all of which are reported as ‘closed’ on the SCC website. This is despite the extra £21m funding borrowed by SCC to resurface a quarter of all roads managed by the council by 2021.
The report followed the councillor taking matters into her own hands and measuring the offending potholes herself.
Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw, a town councillor and Suffolk county councillor for Beccles, said that the council’s reporting tool for potholes is not always accurate and could be misleading. She also accused SCC of allowing potholes to get too big before taking action.
She said: “It is making the council seem incompetent when actually the council is following the procedures they have set themselves. It seems like something we should be able to manage as a civilised society.”
Earlier this month SCC said it had “declared war on the potholes which are opening up on the county’s roads”. The council said it received more than 11,000 reports of potholes since the start of 2018, compared to 6,000 in the same period last year.
However, for a pothole to be considered bad enough to be fixed within a month of it being reported, it must be at least 40cm in diameter and at least 5cm deep on most roads.
Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said: “We need to be in line with public opinion and most of the potholes in Beccles don’t meet the strict criteria needed for repair work.”
A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said it was prioritising all of its available resource to focus on repairing as many potholes as possible. He said: “To do this we have brought in additional gangs and streamlined internal processes to ensure maximum efficiency. We have repaired a number of potholes in Ashman’s Road following public reports in the last few weeks and will continue to inspect the area for any further deterioration.”