Thursday, April 16, 2009

POTHOLE GO-SLOW TO 'CALM TRAFFIC'

A pothole
Critics say potholes are a danger to road users

An Essex parish council wants potholes to be left unfilled for longer to act as a "natural traffic calming" measure.

Navestock parish councillors claim repairing potholes is costly and allows motorists to drive faster.

Critics say uneven roads are a danger to cyclists and motorbike riders and could lead to more insurance claims.

Essex County Council said most people wanted potholes repaired and it would be making arrangements to fill those in Navestock as quickly as possible.

Parish councillor Richard Folkson said: "It takes a lot of time and resources to chase the county council to maintain the roads around the village.

"Potholes are natural traffic calming. If you fill them in, it just allows people to drive faster down these roads.

"If they're not filled, they have to slow down."

'Beggars belief'

But some villagers have expressed concern at the proposal.

Roy Tyzack, 62, a retired police officer who runs the Navestock Village Society, said: "The people I have spoken to in the village are quite amazed at what the council is doing. It beggars belief.

"They all see how dangerous it is and how it is putting their cars at risk. It's also not a good way of advertising the village."

A spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake said: "This is a wholly original idea; however, there are no short cuts with road safety.

"The reality is that potholes are dangerous for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorbike riders, and can cause lasting damage to all vehicles.

"We'd urge councils to invest money on traffic-calming measures, whenever it is needed, to ensure the roads can be used safely."

Meanwhile Norman Hulme, Essex County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "This is an interesting idea from Navestock Parish Council.

"However, the vast majority of Essex residents want to travel on safer, smoother roads which is why it is the policy of Essex County Council to fill all potholes as soon as is practical.

"Therefore, regrettably in this instance, we will have to take the opposite view from the parish council.

"We will be making arrangements to fill in these potholes as soon as possible."

BBC NEWS REPORT

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