Faulty re­pairs lead to un­safe roads in town

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @jamie_lopez1

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

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