Poorly repaired road is a hazard says Wanborough resident
5:30am Wednesday 12th March 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
MOTORIST and Wanborough resident Mike Eldridge has slammed Swindon Council’s attempts to repair the surface of a primary route in and out of the village.
The 68-year-old former transport manager, of Greenaway, saw workers in Wanborough Road, a short distance north of the Horpit and Burycroft junctions, working on resurfacing of the carriageway within the past four weeks.
As a result of the work, random sections of new tarmac have been laid but much of the road that has eroded away has been left untouched.
Swindon Council said the road is due to be resurfaced as a whole but doing so now would be premature, as a plan to improve flood defences would involve digging it up.
But Mike said he is confused as to why the council would go to the trouble of resurfacing the road and only tend to small sections rather than every inch of the eroded sections.
“It’s like an obstacle course with the way it’s been done in bits and pieces. Cars are choosing to swerve in and out of the road to avoid the holes,” he said.
“I expect a lot better from the council. I am paying more than £1,700 in council tax each year and I don’t know where it goes.
“I think there is going to be an accident. Most people come up, see the holes and they get out into the middle of the road. If something’s coming the other way, you don’t know what might happen.
“I don’t understand why they’ve done it this way – it beggars belief. If they don’t have enough tarmac, why not do one half of it thoroughly and leave the second half?”
Gary Sumner, chairman of Wanborough Parish Council, said: “We have raised it a number of times with the borough council, but I don’t know how fast something will be done.
“We are putting it on hold because of a flood prevention scheme we are bidding for at the Environment Agency.
“There is certainly an issue for cyclists down that road though.
“If they’re swerving into the middle of the road to avoid the holes, and they don’t look over their shoulder, they could collide.”
A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “This road is due for resurfacing, but it could be a complete waste of money to do it at the moment.
“We’re working with the parish council to put in a bid later this month to the Environment Agency for money towards a £380,000 scheme which will reduce the risk of flooding in the village.
“If we get that funding, the work will involve digging a deep trench down the middle of the road.
“The last thing we want to do is spend money on resurfacing only to have to dig it all up again shortly afterwards.
“We know it’s not ideal, but in the meantime we’re patching up the road and keeping it safe until we can resurface it properly without the risk that the work will have to be done twice.”
On the current state of potholes across the borough, a spokesman for Swindon Council said: “Potholes always get worse during the winter because they are caused mainly by water penetrating the road.
“It is even more damaging if it freezes because the water expands as it turns to ice, breaking the road up further, often from beneath the surface. It’s why permanent repairs are left until the spring, because new Tarmac and cold and wet weather don’t mix.
“There’s no question that Swindon has a lot of potholes at the moment, but this is true of nearly all parts of the country, simply because the weather has been so bad. Drive over the border into Wiltshire or Gloucestershire and the problem is there as well.
“People might not believe it but Swindon’s main road network is traditionally in the top quarter in the country in terms of its overall condition.
“We have invested extra money in the past year in road maintenance and are planning to do so again, but there isn’t a council in the country that wouldn’t like more money for road repairs. It’s just a case of doing the best we can with the limited resources we’ve got.”
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