‘Roads are not like those in a third world coun­try’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by JAS­MINE RAPSON jas­mine.rapson@trinitymirror.com Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

ROADS in Bucks are not sim­i­lar to those in a third world coun­try, in­sist county chiefs as a ma­jor pothole re­pair scheme con­tin­ues.

How­ever, the leader of the coun­cil has warned that more pot­holes are ex­pected to plague Bucks roads if an­other harsh win­ter sweeps the na­tion.

At a meet­ing of Bucks County Coun­cil’s cab­i­net on Mon­day Septem­ber 10, leader Martin Tett said he re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­plaints over the win­ter re­gard­ing de­te­ri­o­rat­ing roads.

How­ever, while Cllr Tett ac­cepts harsh win­ter weather added to the grow­ing num­ber of pot­holes, he has dis­puted some res­i­dents’ claims Bucks roads are com­pa­ra­ble to those in the most de­prived ar­eas of the world.

He said: “Ev­ery­body na­tion­ally has been in de­spair about the state of the roads this year.

“As a coun­try we have un­der­funded re­pairs on our roads, prob­a­bly for decades. This needs mas­sive in­vest­ment from gov­ern­ment.

“How­ever having just come back from some third world coun­tries where I spent my hol­i­day, when peo­ple write in say­ing the roads are like a third world coun­try, I have pho­to­graphs that prove our roads are not like a third world coun­try’s.

“The places I have been to, they are hor­ren­dous by com­par­i­son.”

Speak­ing af­ter the meet- ing, Cllr Tett said “it is likely” there will be more pot­holes across the county fol­low­ing the com­ing win­ter

He added: “We are very much in the hands of the weather. The worst thing on our roads is not snow, but rain, lots and lots of wa­ter just sit­ting on the roads and freez­ing overnight. If we get lots of rain then cold nights you are likely to see more pot­holes next year. It’s the hon­est truth.

“Do we un­der­stand it could hap­pen? Yes. Do we have vast amounts of money avail­able to fix them? No.”

Trans­port chief, coun­cil­lor Mark Shaw, de­fended fig­ures which showed just 43% of the most se­ri­ous pot­holes were re­paired within two days dur­ing the first quar­ter of the year, de­spite the fact the tar­get was 93%.

He said: “On the is­land of Corfu, af­ter com­plaints for five years, they fi­nally filled pot­holes big­ger than the size of these desks. We are a lot quicker than that in Bucks I am de­lighted to say. We have to take this whole thing with a large cup of tea, be­cause the re­al­ity is we had such a bad win­ter. Pot­holes and other de­fects in­creased by about 300%, which meant we failed to meet the tar­gets of look­ing at these and deal­ing with them in two days.”

Road re­pairs are ex­pect- ed to con­tinue well into the au­tumn, with the plane and patch pro­gramme – which fo­cuses on large clus­ters of pot­holes – set to fin­ish in Oc­to­ber.

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