Roads are in a bad state

A recent journey from Eastbourne to Burwash reinforced my view that East Sussex roads are in a very bad state and I am not just talking about potholes.

Whole stretches of rural roads are worn out. Perhaps the worst example is the road from Wartling past Herstmonceux Castle to Windmill Hill. The surface is very uneven and white lining in the middle of the road missing. At Bodle Street Green the junction give ways road markings were completely worn out. With an absence of give way signs I could see an accident happening there. I reported this to East Sussex highways, my message was acknowledged and shortly afterwards I received a message to say problem has been fixed. I assume the lines have now been painted. A responsive organisation you might think, but my question is why was the problem not picked up by highways inspectors?

Their own Highway Asset Inspection Guidance Document makes it clear major roads such as A roads should be inspected once a month, urban local access roads every six months and the smallest rural access road once a year. It is clear not just at Bodle Street Green but at multiple rural and urban road junctions that worn out painted give way markings are not spotted by the supposed inspection regime.

In some cases the deterioration is so bad you have to conclude the last time white lining was done must have been 5-10 years ago or more considering the low volume of traffic and slow expected deterioration. So my question is why have the inspectors not seen and acted on these obvious faults without having to rely on reports from members of the public? I conclude either the inspections are not happening or the inspectors are going around with their eyes closed. Moreover over the years I have also seen many examples of important warning road signs not being visible by oncoming drivers due to being turned around or obscured by vegetation and staying like that for months or years on end.An official survey a few years ago showed that East Sussex was one of the most dangerous areas in the country for serious injuries and deaths on the roads. In fact a report by East Sussex County Council in June 2015 showed that the rate of people killed or seriously injured on the roads of East Sussex in general and Rother and Wealden in particular were significantly worse than England as a whole, over every two period assessed from 2013 to 2013. Whilst there are several causes that are behind these stats surely a casual and negligent attitude to road maintenance must play a role. Meanwhile council tax payers get a raw deal.

Mike Grant

Beach Road, Eastbourne