More teams working on repairs, more money being spent but the potholes just continue to multiply

…anyone in Hastings and St Leonards who notices potholes or other defects can report them at www.eastsussexhighways.com or contact your councillor.

Potholes in East Sussex are being repaired three times faster than normal and in the last ten months the council says it has spent over £23 million on improving and maintaining our highways and has resurfaced, patched or surface dressed more than 55 miles of road

Councillor Matthew Beaver, who represents Maze Hill and West St Leonards on East Sussex County Council (ESCC) says more than 11,000 potholes have been repaired in recent months and that’s three times more than normal.

Councillor Martin Clarke

In addition the number of gangs on the roads repairing potholes has been increased from ten to 16 and according to Councillor Martin Clarke who represents St Helens and Silverhill ESCC is repairing potholes faster than is required by law: “The statutory repair time for a… pothole is 28 days. ESCC average is just 17 days.”

Factors including the exceptionally wet weather are blamed for the increased number of potholes in our roads, Mr Clarke says: “The average potholes cleared per year has been around the 4,000 level but this year it is expected to be 11,000. That shows that what the public are reporting is being quantified.”

But for Councillor Phil Scott, who represents Hollington and Wishing Tree the starting point in the debate is that ESCC is receiving less from central government whole at the same time being asked to do more: “And that includes funding for pothole repairs and roads resurfacing'” says Mr Scott.

“In Hollington and Wishing I have been quite successful over the last couple of years in having some major roads resurfaced, much has been achieved but that only comes with pushing ESCC as much as possible.”

Mr Scott lists among his achievements:

  • Sedlescombe Road South Resurfaced
  • Ironlatch Avenue (Including Footway) Resurfaced
  • Battle Road (Between Silverhill Junction and Old Church Road Resurfaced)
  • New Pedestrian Crossing Point at Battle Road (Junction with Battle Road and Old Harrow Road)
  • Wishing Tree Road North (resurfaced)
  • Old Church Road Part (patched)
  • Redgeland Rise (speed cushions)
  • New Low Floor Bus Platforms at Ironlatch Avenue and Stonehouse Drive
  • Blackman Avenue is on the verge of being resurfaced and with new Kerbs from March 10th, those works will take in the junction at Blackman Avenue and Marline Road.

“I have taken this issue extremely seriously, I have responded continually to people who make contact pretty much on a daily basis. I go to all of the sites in question and take pictures and send then to ESCC and meet regularly with Highways Stewards who themselves are inundated and also have a strict criteria to enable any repairs to be carried out.

Councillor Phil Scott

“East Sussex County Council announced in its recent budget that £1m pounds will be set aside to deal with potholes and white lining but it really is nowhere enough and will only make a small dent in what I believe will take years to get our roads back to anywhere near what may be deemed to be a basic standard,” Mr Scott told Hastings In Focus.

I have not met the new MP for Hastings & Rye yet but my message to her is a simple one: “Your Government has cash starved local authorities for more than ten years with your policy of austerity. This is hurting communities, indeed it is hurting the most deprived communities and the most vulnerable individuals. You need to speak up for Hastings and Rye and tell your government that the fairer funding review that was promised a long way back is brought forward at the earliest opportunity, our communities need adequate funding to be able to provide the most basic of provision of services… we are so falling behind it is no longer acceptable”

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said: “Our highways stewards are out all year round carrying our regular inspections of all the county’s roads and responding to reports received from the public.

“This financial year we have spent over £23 million on improving and maintaining our highways and have resurfaced, patched or surface dressed more than 55 miles of road. We’ve committed an additional £1 million in 2020-21 for work including patching.

“We fixed more than 26,000 potholes last year, however, we only have very limited resources so have to prioritise work on those most in need repair – regardless of where in the county they are – according to national guidelines and county council policies.

“We don’t allocate our maintenance budgets on a town-by-town basis, rather we follow Department for Transport guidance and prioritise our maintenance on a county-wide basis, and based on need.

“After going through the wettest winter for 20 years, we are experiencing an exceptionally high number of reports of potholes at present, but we would encourage anyone in Hastings and St Leonards who notices potholes or other defects to help us keep our roads in good shape by contacting us via our website at www.eastsussexhighways.com

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