Sunday, 20 June 2021

Mend these potholes now

RESIDENTS are demanding that a road in Sonning Common is resurfaced because it has so may potholes.

RESIDENTS are demanding that a road in Sonning Common is resurfaced because it has so may potholes.

They claim that Ashford Avenue has not been properly repaired since the Fifties when it was laid and it now has 25 craters which are causing a danger to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Neighbours Anthony Horne and Pete Smith have asked the parish council for support in their campaign to persuade Oxfordshire County Council to take action.

A year ago, 29 residents signed a petition that was sent to the county council demanding repairs but there was no response.

Mr Horne, 45, who lives Ashford Avenue with his fiancée Diane, 49, and son Charlie, eight, said the road surface was “atrocious”.

“The road has never been properly repaired since it was laid in the Fifties,” he said. “All that has been done is patching and it’s now just patch after patch. It’s not acceptable. After 60 years, the road has served its time and it needs to be relaid.

“There are quite a few angry people on this road. They pay their council tax but are getting nothing back apart from damage to their vehicles.”

Mr Horne, a builder, claimed that a council highways officer came out to have a look at the potholes in February and told him the road wouldn’t be left in such a poor state if it was in Oxford.

Since then, workmen have visited four times to carry out repairs but there are still 10 potholes which haven’t been mended.

Mr Horne said: “The most dangerous ones are still here — they’re about five inches deep. The council should repair them all. Surely that’s common sense.”

He has had to spend hundreds of pounds replacing his car’s suspension after driving into potholes and claims there has been a number of accidents caused by the poor road surface.

He said: “A little girl was walking down the road the other day and started running and she tripped over an unfinished surface.

“If we, the residents, need to continue bombarding the council to do something about this road and there are still injuries, we will take it upon ourselves to shut it off from traffic and face the consequences.

“This is for the safety of all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The council has neglected this road and has a duty to residents to do better.

“We never received a response to the petition and it’s clear the council isn’t interested in what we’re saying.”

Mr Smith, 80, who has lived in the area since the Fifties, said part of the problem was Ashford Avenue was a drivers’ cut-through between Peppard Road and Reades Lane.

He said: “This is a housing estate but we’ve had a car transporter and heavy goods vehicles with building materials come up here. They have to mount the kerb to avoid the potholes while there’s a lot of children playing.

“When they shut Wood Lane for the gas works everything was coming down here. People were stopping their cars and complaining about the potholes.”

A council spokesman said: “Potholes are a reality of any road network and the task of repairing them is a year-round process.

“In order to make best use of our limited resources and equipment, staff are split into two teams. One, using the heavy duty equipment, deals with larger potholes while the other focuses on smaller-sized road defects.

“This is why potholes of a certain size may be repaired at one time and then those of a different size in the same area may be tended to at another time.

“Currently, there is only enough budget to resurface a proportion of our priority list of maintenance schemes — Ashford Avenue is not on this list as it is an unclassified road.”

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