Shropshire Star

Call for action as Shropshire villagers 'cut off' by potholes

People living in a rural village on the Welsh border have demanded immediate county council action after being threatened with being effectively cut off by unfinished roadworks.

Councillor Heath Kidd examines a pothole in Priest Weston on the Shropshire/Wales border

At a meeting held at Priest Weston Village Hall locals told of their frustrations concerning the roads’ poor maintenance and the damage it was causing to their cars.

Among those present was the school bus driver and the primary school minibus driver - both of whose routes have been affected by the lack of work to remedy the road surfaces.

Shropshire councillor Heather Kidd, who organised the meeting, said: “Cutbacks in the roads’ budget by Shropshire Council have hit roads right across the county, leaving many in a dreadful state.

“Rural areas have suffered the most but Priest Weston has been particularly badly hit.

Villagers are waiting for 'meaningful' repairs to the road

“Despite a sustained campaign by residents and myself we still have not had any meaningful repairs done to the dreadful road surfaces on all four roads leading out of the village.”

Damage to Priest Weston’s roads include:

  • A major hole in Chirbury Lane, rendering the road now technically closed

  • A large number of major potholes on the Rorrington to Priest Weston Road, which led the local school bus company refusing to use its large vehicle on it

  • Several large holes in the road to Churchstoke

  • The road to White Grit having major problems outside the Miners Arms with a series of potholes across the road including one leaking water.

Councillor Kidd added: “People in rural Shropshire have had enough. Colleagues across the county are reporting the same litany of delay and missed potholes by the council’s contractor Kier.

“I strongly suspect that much of the money available for roads is being spent in urban areas.

“In South Shropshire we have only received 28 per cent of the recent grant from the Government.”

Councillor Steve Davenport, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re aware of Councillor Kidd’s concerns and will be repairing the roads that she refers to as soon as we’re able.

“It’s well known that many of our roads have been in a terrible state over the past few months following the severe winter weather.

Since April more than 20 crews and two Roadmaster lorries have been out across Shropshire every day, repairing thousands of potholes and other road defects.

“This work will continue, and we’re due to take delivery of a third Roadmaster at the start of August which will help still further.

"We’re confident that we’ll soon have tackled the backlog of potholes – but people can still help us by reporting any that they come across.”