Opposition councillors blast ruling Tories over state of Nottinghamshire roads

An opposition councillor at Nottinghamshire Council has accused the ruling Conservatives of hiding information he claims will prove it is wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on botched pothole repairs
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Coun Steve Carr, a Liberal Democrat, also claimed the Conservatives were “deliberately misleading residents” over the number of potholes the under-fire council is revisiting when he spoke at the latest full council meeting.

At the same meeting, several members of the Independent Alliance listed off hundreds of roads and pavements in their wards they said needed urgent attention.

Coun Carr asked about how many potholes the council was revisiting, but was told the authority “didn’t hold this information”.

He then accused the council of “misleading residents” and “not being “transparent”.

He said, “One minute, the Conservatives tell us that the use of ViaFix has gone down 61 per cent in a year, then in the next breath, they say they don’t hold the information on how many potholes have been re-visited more than once.

“I put it to the Conservatives that the reality is they’re wasting hundreds of thousands a year on botched jobs.

“They are not being transparent and the reality is they are misleading residents by not being honest with the problem.”

Coun Steve Carr (left) and Coun Jason Zadrozny-Bland both criticised the Conservatives over the state of Nottinghamshire's roadsCoun Steve Carr (left) and Coun Jason Zadrozny-Bland both criticised the Conservatives over the state of Nottinghamshire's roads
Coun Steve Carr (left) and Coun Jason Zadrozny-Bland both criticised the Conservatives over the state of Nottinghamshire's roads

Earlier this month, the council said it was doing all it could to keep the county’s roads safe in the face of a soaring number of potholes caused by winter weather.

Coun Ben Bradley, council leader and Mansfield MP, admitted the roads ‘were bad at the minute’ but said council teams were ‘working 24/7’ to keep up with repairs.

He said: “Unfortunately, I can’t control the weather or the quality of work done long before I was here.”

Coun Neil Clarke, council cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Winter conditions always take their toll on highways across Nottinghamshire.

“We’re open about the fact we have seen an increase in the number of pothole reports in recent weeks, but also want our residents to know this isn’t unusual at this time of year.”

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However, Mansfield and Ashfield residents are increasingly unhappy at the state of the county’s roads with one Sutton resident describing potholes on Skegby Road and Mansfield Road as ‘shocking’.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Independent Alliance leader and also Ashfield Council leader, said: The Conservatives have publicly stated they think they are doing a good job of fixing our broken roads and pavements.

“We wanted to use the opportunity (at the meeting) to highlight exactly what residents are saying – that the state of our roads and pavements is diabolical.

“The Conservatives laughed and joked throughout proceedings – this sends strong message to residents that the Tories couldn’t care less.”

Gary Wood, council head of highways and transport, said: “We hold a record of every pothole or defect identified on the highway in Nottinghamshire, whether found by our inspectors, or reported to us by a member of the public.

“We do not have specific information on return visits to specific potholes as it is very difficult to identify, although return visits to a specific pothole do occasionally happen.

“However, in most cases visits to repair potholes at locations where work has already been completed are to address further highway defects.

“This is because additional potholes are more likely to appear close to where repairs have been made due to deterioration of the road surface.

“The council reviewed it’s approach to pothole repairs through the cross-party Highways Review and this has led to a 61 per cent decrease in the amount of ViaFix used in highway repairs over the last year as a result of increasing the amount of large-scale permanent repairs.

“This can be evidenced by the amount of ViaFix ordered for use by our repair teams.

“The amount of large-scale permanent repairs has quadrupled as part of the highways review and the council’s extra investment of £3 million per year over a four-year period.

“Emergency repairs using cold materials are still needed and it is important to remember that the primary focus of these repairs is to keep the highway safe for road users and pedestrians, until larger scale repairs are made.”