Monday, 10 December 2012

Scrutiny focus on Highways & Pot Holes in Eastbourne

The scrutiny process at Eastbourne Borough Council took a good step forward this evening with East Sussex County Council's Assistant Director for Transport & Environment, Karl Taylor and Head of Highways, Roger Williams presenting on Highways in Eastbourne - well done to new Scrutiny Committee Chairman, Cllr Colin Belsey for making this happen!

The presentation revealed some interesting facts; East Sussex County Council inspect and repair over 2,000 miles of roads and footpaths, over 1,000 bridges and structures, over 60,000 street lights, over 200 sets of traffic lights, they manage over 30,000 roadworks and run a fleet of 24 gritter trucks which as I type have been out keeping the County's roads safe and will continue to throughout the winter when needed. All of this is done on a budget of around £30 million and investment has been stepped up in recent years to combat the more severe winters and improve the overall condition of our highways in comparison with other authorities.

I regularly receive questions about pot holes and the condition of our local roads and whilst I have to say, these appear to have been responded to promptly on each occasion I challenged on them on how they prioritise repairs according to size because whilst drivers of cars and vans get justifiably frustrated about wheel and tyre damage, those on two wheels could come to a great deal more harm.

Following concerns about the quality of some pot hole repairs, I also quizzed them on how their contractors quality of work is measured. After all on occasions when Tarmac is hurriedly slapped into pot holes seemingly without the truck even stopping, the repairs don't last and the taxpayer doesn't get value for money. Roger responded advising that each pot hole should be cut out to a square, dried out and filled before being sealed properly. If this doesn't happen it won't meet the quality standards set by East Sussex County Council triggering two results, 1) the contractor doesn't get paid and 2) the individuals concerned won't be allowed to work on this contract again.

The challenge it soon became clear, is that reductions in Council staff have almost halved the number of officers working in the Transport & Environment Department during recent years to maximise investment in improving the quality of the maintenance of our highways, it is not possible to follow the contractors around all of the time. Therefore I will be continuing to take a keen interest in both the condition of our highways but also the standard of any repairs completed to them. If you experience a highway issue of any kind, you can report it using the council's online reporting system at:

If you are not satisfied that defects are repaired quickly enough or to the correct standard, feel free to get in touch with your local County Councillor. If possible pictorial evidence should be provided as this will enable the matter to be dealt with quicker.

No comments:

Post a Comment