Council did nothing about monster pothole for two months ... until Free Press contacted them
A monster pothole that posed a deadly threat to drivers for two months was filled in by council workmen at 8pm on Friday – three hours after this newspaper approached the authority.
Retired lorry driver Thomas ‘Taffy’ Edwards (80) reported the pothole to Lincolnshire County Council on February 8 after a previous repair failed and a plastic bottle and plastic sheeting were seen under the Tarmac “fill”.
Mr Edwards said it looked like it had been filled with the rubbish from the back of the lorry.
The monster pothole measured 4ft long, 3ft wide and 6 inches deep – and often lay hidden underwater or in darkness on Marsh Road, Gedney Drove End, a busy route to and from Guy’s Head or Sutton Bridge.
Speaking before the repair, Mr Edwards: “Someone could easily get killed, especially on a motorcycle or a cycle.
“There’s no street lights at night and people can’t see how deep it is when it’s full of water.”
Mr Edwards said the plastic bottle that was part of the fill blew away, but the plastic sheeting remained – and that was seen by our photographer, Tim Wilson.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Edwards said:“I have been phoning the county council and telling them about this and it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
“I am absolutely certain that if the hole was outside the council offices in Lincoln they would repair it and level it off – because we are just out here in the sticks I get the impression that we don’t matter.”
Mr Edwards met our photographer on Friday with a copy of County News, the council newsletter, and pointed to an article that says B road and busiest C roads are normally repaired in seven days and C roads and unclassified roads within 28 days.
Mr Edwards, from Gedney Drove End, said yesterday (Monday) he learned from a resident about the repair but says with all the traffic it is “now sinking down into the ground again”.
He said: “Something really disturbed them to do that at that time of night. I have never seen them working that late, any time, so it was an emergency job obviously.”
Mr Edwards believes the pothole wasn’t cut out and then filled so it will reappear before long.
The pensioner has just learned a cyclist came off his bike and bent his front wheel after hitting the pothole, and says: “I hope he’s claimed from the council.”
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “We’ll be asking our contractor to investigate the concerns around the quality of the work, and, if the repair was not done properly, we’ll be asking them to cover the costs of putting things right.
“In the meantime, our emergency repair team visited Marsh Road on Friday evening and filled the most serious pothole. A maintenance crew will return to repair any remaining minor defects in due course.
“Our emergency team are on-call 24/7 and because of the claims that were made about the way in which the pothole was repaired, we felt we needed to visit at once to make sure it didn’t pose a danger to the public.
“Typically we endeavour to repair potholes like this within 28 days, although those timescales will be affected by factors such as the prolonged bad weather we’ve experienced recently.
“This has created an unusually large number of potholes for us to deal with, and we have brought in three additional teams to help tackle the extra workload. But even so, it can still take us longer than we’d like to deal with potholes at this current time.
“Recently, the council agreed to invest a further £12million in highways maintenance for this year to help tackle this issue. While this is a step in the right direction, it is nowhere near the hundreds of millions of pounds we’d need to bring our roads up to the standard we’d like.
“What is really needed is for Lincolnshire to receive fairer funding from the government, which is something we are campaigning for hard.
“If councils here received the average funding for council areas in England, the region would benefit from £116 million of extra funding for services every year – some of which could be used towards highways repairs. That would make a massive difference.”
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