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Furious Shropshire councillor hits out at damaged roads - with reports of up to 20 cars damaged by one pothole

By Andrew Morris | Much Wenlock | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Damaged roads and pavements in a town have left one councillor angry, with reports of up to 20 cars being damaged by one pothole.

Councillor David Turner said the state of highways in Much Wenlock has left him furious.

But Councillor Steve Davenport, cabinet member for highways, has conceded there’s “very little” money left in the pot to put things right.

Councillor Turner said the problem isn’t confined to Much Wenlock – with other areas of south Shropshire also suffering.

Councillor Turner said: “According to our highways asset management report, reactive repairs should be done ‘right first time’. Plainly they are not.

“Many of us will know of chronic potholes that open up in the same place time after time.

“Many local motorists also know of them, and weave round them, but others don’t – to their cost.

“Where is the visibility about prioritisation? At my advice surgery last week the police told me of 15 cars parked at the side of the road with burst tyres just outside Bridgnorth, all having hit the same pothole.

“Other reports describe the number as 20 disabled vehicles.

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“The B4368 near Craven Arms was closed last week for emergency repairs to potholes.

“There is a road just outside Much Wenlock connecting two villages that has effectively been closed by flooding for weeks now.

“If we can’t keep the roads safe, surely it’s better to just close them until repairs can be undertaken?”

He added: “At the July council meeting I advanced questions asking about the chronic neglect of basic work in Much Wenlock, undertakings as to completion dates, and the contraction of the highways budget.

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Struggling

“I referred to a meeting on this topic in March with the leader and senior officers

“The answers I received July, inasmuch as they answered the questions I asked, indicated that during a road closure to replace a gas main it was intended that a dangerous footpath would be resurfaced, improvements to gullies undertaken, road markings refreshed, and a bollard replaced.

“Further, a long-standing traffic scheme, where the traffic regulation order had run out of time, would be undertaken, and a timeline will be confirmed ‘asap’.

“Suffice to say that neither of these have taken place and there is no indication, five months later, as to when these works, or a number of others listed in that question, will be undertaken.

“Meanwhile, the B4378 is littered with dangerous potholes, filled from time to time with a dollop of tar; many other roads are in the same condition.

“Only after relentless pressure by me are highways gullies in Much Wenlock being cleared and thus far this work has been limited to estate roads, whilst many of those in vulnerable streets around the town culvert remain blocked solid.”

Councillor Davenport said: “A dedicated gulley crew spent a full day on the gulley drainage network in Much Wenlock on December 8.

“The Wilmore Street resurfacing and bollard scheme will be completed in the current financial year 2019/20 and is permitted for February 16, 2020.

“Condition data is used to prioritise further scheme-level investigation so that we use our limited resources most effectively and the outcome of the investigation is used to form a forward programme of investment.

“Shropshire continues to make the best of the resources and funding it has and furthermore has successfully bid for additional Highways funding currently in excess of £90 million.”

He added: “We are struggling with the budget but will do what we can.”

Councillor Turner added: “To say I am not happy is an understatement. I am also not happy with Councillor Davenport’s response.”

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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