Faulty repairs lead to unsafe roads in town
REPAIRS to 20 road surfaces around Southport last summer have failed, leaving them unsafe.
Councillors from the town are now pressing Sefton Council for answers as to why it took so long for the problem to be acknowledged.
In all, 25 roads around the town were repaired during August last year, but the damage has already resurfaced in 80% of these.
The issue was raised at last week’s full council meeting, where Cllr John Fairclough, the Cabinet member for locality services, was questioned on why it had taken so long to inform the public about the problem.
A spokesman for Sefton Council has since confirmed that the treatment on the roads had failed and added that it would be repaired at no extra cost to the council.
However, as repairs can only be carried out in the warmer weather between May and August, it will still be months before work begins.
The roads affected include Kenilworth Road in Ainsdale, Fylde Road and Botanic Road in Churchtown, and Town Lane in Kew.
Cllr Haydn Preece, who represents Ainsdale, said that residents had been complaining about the potential damage to cars, skidding risks and danger to cyclists.
He is now calling for answers regarding why it took so long for the council to fully recognise the problem.
He said: “We’ve known for getting on for three months the grit on the roads has been excessive and created terrible road conditions.
“Residents across Southport have contacted their local Liberal Democrat councillors and despite councillors being told regular sweeps would remedy the situation the sweeps proved inadequate, infrequent and ineffective.
“This isn’t political, why couldn’t the cabinet member have made an early statement so we all knew the current fiasco? Remedial action should have been activated as soon as we received public complaints.
“Instead we have endured a horrid road surface with distinct dangers across Southport. It is important our public know that damage to their cars or, more importantly, personal injury any claim made to Sefton will initially be forwarded to the contractor.
“Currently significant funds have been wasted and I have questioned contract negotiations in recent months relating to the shambolic spring/ summer grass cutting and now this contract calamity.
“Our current Labour cabinet members and council officers must do a lot better in negotiating contracts such as grass cutting and road surfacing across the Sefton Borough and certainly in Ainsdale
Cllr David Barton, who represents Dukes ward, has also raised concerns over road surfaces in the town.
He is now asking for a review into what caused the problem and how it can be prevented from happening again.
“Clearly we need to get to the bottom of this issue as soon as possible and a review of the whole situation is urgently required,” he said.
Cllr Barton added that it is vital that Sefton Council continues to work closely with the contractor and its materials laboratory to try and determine the reason for the premature failures.
A spokesman for Sefton Council told the Visiter that it is working with the contractor to determine the cause of the problem.
He added that mechanical sweeping would be carried out on the affected roads until work can resume in May.
The spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to local residents and assure everyone that the failed works will be rectified at no cost to the council.”
Ainsdale councillor Haydn Preece, inset above, wants answers from the council regarding the terrible road conditions