Residents say potholes on village road remain unfixed - six months on
PUBLISHED: 08:06 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 10 October 2019
An Elsenham resident who told the Reporter in April about Essex County Council's apparent lack of effort in fixing road defects, has said a series of potholes in the village have still not been tackled.
Robert Talks said the Stansted Road (B1051) potholes he highlighted earlier this year which can be found on the road leading in to Elsenham from Stansted, were just some of the defects he reported and which have yet to be fixed by Essex Highways, six months on.
The only change he noticed is 'some paint around them' and 'two bus stops installed close to the potholes'.
Robert also mentioned an overgrown pedestrian pathway further down the road between Stansted and Elsenham. He said he had contacted the council about the path three times over the past 18 months. He said the pathway had become so overgrown that pedestrians, including vulnerable ones, were finding themselves forced to walk into the road to get around it. Recently, he said he found a man in a tractor cutting the plants and another man, wearing a high-visibility jacket, directing the traffic:
"I approached him and asked if they were doing it on behalf of the council and like me, his response was not very polite with regards to what he thought about the council, and he confirmed he was not. How fantastic to see other members of the public taking on the job of our local authority," said Mr Talks.
"These two chaps have saved the day when our local authority could not be bothered despite repeated chasing and poor excuses. Sadly, I did not catch their names, but did tell them how grateful I was.
"Their work could well have saved someone from an accident as this pavement has been an accident waiting to happen for a long while."
Mr Talks also praised the two men in a Facebook post: "These two guys are nothing to do with the council we pay so much tax to, but their efforts will make such a difference."
Other residents reacted to his post. One said they were grateful as they 'walk this with their kids in a pushchair and it will make the walk much safer'. Another one commented: "The council expects some students who live under three miles from Forest Hall School to walk that route twice a day, ridiculous", with a local 'hoping the men will get paid for doing council's work'.
Mr Talks highlighted that the road problems he identified were at odds with the housing developments planned by the council.
He said: "The council is considering an additional 350 homes to be built in Elsenham. One with any sense would ask, 'how is it possible that any sensible local authority would ever consider this, when it is so incompetent at looking after such basic things as trimming foliage and dealing with road defects?'"
According to Mr Talks, Essex Highways had responded to his concerns two weeks before with their 'usual response' of having 'higher priorities'.
Speaking to the Reporter, an Essex Highways spokesman said: "We had a report from a member of the public about issues on Stansted Road in March. Our inspector visited but no significant defects were found. If the conditions have deteriorated we ask residents to please do report the issue again. Stansted Road is inspected in detail quarterly, when any issues will be logged and repaired as needed.
"Unfortunately, we don't have sufficient location details to understand the pathway issue. Nevertheless, we would like to remind residents, please, that it is the responsibility of each landowner to cut their own vegetation, ensuring that it does not encroach on the pavement or roads."
In April, an Essex Highways spokesman said they had tackled potholes in Stansted Road during 2018, adding: "The remaining defects are not yet significant enough for urgent repair, but the road is inspected professionally every three months, and if these deteriorate, they become priority for fixing."
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send your thoughts to email@example.com or write to the Reporter, Fairycroft House, Audley Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 3HD.