MP calls on council to fix ‘broken’ roads in East Sussex

Norman Baker with potholes in Newhaven
Norman Baker with potholes in Newhaven

MP Norman Baker is calling on East Sussex County Council to ‘get on’ and repair potholed roads after claiming residents are still driving on damaged streets despite government funding to fix them.

Mr Baker said in January last year it was announced council’s across Sussex would be handed millions of pounds in extra money to extend the life of the country’s weather beaten highways.

Mr Baker said in June this year it was announced the council would receive a further £1.5m to go towards covering the costs of pothole and surface repairs, which could fund 27,000 pothole repairs across the county.

But he claims residents still have to drive, cycle and walk along roads and pavements which are broken up and pot marked.

He said: “The money has been provided and repairs have been alluded to for some time, now they just need to get on with it. This is an ongoing problem, for which money has been provided to make proper repairs, not a patchwork quilt of quick fills. It is not just about it not looking nice but is a real issue for damaging vehicles and causing trips and falls. There is absolutely no excuse for this type of road surface to be scattered across the constituency.”

But Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment said the council had repaired almost 40,000 potholes this year. He said: “We have invested more than £60m in improving the roads of East Sussex over the last three years, and we’re ploughing £55m into roads over the next two years. We repaired more than 64,000 potholes last year and have repaired almost 40,000 this year, during a period when we had to cope with the effects of what was the wettest winter on record. We’ve just created a two-year programme of resurfacing, surface dressing and patching of roads across the county, which is available to view on our website. All the additional funding which has been received is being used for the purpose for which it was intended but we can only carry out planned resurfacing according to the limited staff and resources we have. The significant investment we’ve made has resulted in continuous improvement in the state of the county’s roads in recent years and every day our staff and contractors work hard to improve the roads of East Sussex. As a former tranport minister, Mr Baker is well aware of the limitation we have to work under and I find his intervention unhelpful and ill-informed.”