Pledge made to lobby county council over potholes problem on Wealden roads

Wealden District Council has passed a motion calling on East Sussex County Council to address problems associating with potholes across the district.

The county council has responsibility for the county’s roads and has its own contractor to deal with issues such as potholes.

At a meeting of the Full Council recently, a motion proposed by Councillor David White and seconded by Councillor Mike Gadd, was unanimously approved by fellow councillors.

The motion called on Wealden council leader Councillor James Partridge and chief executive Trevor Scott to ask the county council to confirm that it has undertaken an immediate and comprehensive condition survey of the district’s road network, confirm the extent of work to be carried out and set a timetable to rectify the present state of disrepair; invite relevant officers from East Sussex County Council to attend an early meeting of Wealden council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee to explain the position or ongoing maintenance of the roads; and finally to urge the county council to make greater representation to the government for increased funding for road repairs.

Councillor White said, “Having travelled much of the district’s highways during the recent elections we have all experienced for ourselves the disgraceful condition of the road surfaces – pot holes so large and frequent that in many cases it felt more like driving across a ploughed field than a tarmacked road; roads where the edge of the carriage way had disintegrated leaving deep ruts the size of the Grand Canyon.

“My fellow councillors may also have heard from their residents as I did from mine of broken suspensions and split tyres in some cases costing several hundreds of pounds to replace. They may also have been told of the repeated complaints lodged with East Sussex County Council and of the poor quality of the repairs carried out when workmen eventually turned up; repairs so poorly undertaken that within a matter of a day or two the pot holes reappeared often larger than the originals.

“And many will have heard of residents waiting weeks for repairs to be undertaken if at all. The county council was clearly made aware of the deteriorating state of the local road network yet failed spectacularly to respond to the concerns of residents with any sense of urgency or effective repairs.

“So bad was the condition, that my parish council received a request earlier this year from Hadlow Down Parish Council to join an initiative to take action against the county council to demand an improvement in the way in which the county and its highway stewards deal with the repair and maintenance of the road network.

“The condition of much of the road network has now deteriorated to such a state that repair is probably no longer an option and many roads will require resurfacing if not remaking in order to achieve a satisfactory finish.

“This council of course is not responsible for the upkeep of the local road network. We are however able to bring pressure to bear upon the county council and this motion seeks to bring pressure on the county council to address the concerns of our residents.”

Councillor Mike Gadd said he was pleased to support the motion and hoped the county council would respond with positive news.