Potholes drive road users to distraction

A potholed stretch of Burnley Road close to Knotts Bend, between Lydgate and Cornholme

A potholed stretch of Burnley Road close to Knotts Bend, between Lydgate and Cornholme

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The potholed state of Todmorden’s roads is so bad it is beginning to risk road users’ safety, say campaigners.

In parts of the town the road surface has deteriorated to the extent drivers are forced to navigate over the centre line to avoid damaging their vehicles, and last week a pedestrian was injured when he caught his foot in a pothole as he crossed Rochdale Road.

Glenn Kendall, who recently set up Todmorden Road Quality Facebook page as a closed group adjunct of the Keep Todmorden’s Roads Safe page, said the December flooding had further damaged an already bad road surface in parts of the town, including Rochdale Road near to Todmorden town centre and whole lengths of Burnley Road as it wound through Lydgate and Cornholme.

While understanding Calderdale Council had suffered cutbacks it had found cash for 20 mph zones with associated signage and for double yellow line re-lining schemes, which he believed could have been put into road repairs.

“Although the main page was not for the condition of the roads I started listening to people and it’s because the condition of the roads is very unsafe, so we set the new one up. You can drive around Todmorden only to swerve and possibly go onto the other side of the road,” he said.

It was an issue that affected all road users, said Glenn, as he has seen cyclists also having to steer around potholes.

Last week pedestrian Jack Bentley caught his foot in a pothole, twisting his ankle while dashing across Rochdale Road close to its junction with Longfield Road.

“If I have done that, how many other people have, just trying to get across the road? And when I am driving down the road it’s like driving up an old farm track, it’s full of potholes,” he said.

Jack, 38, said it was dark when he was injured on March 2 at around 7pm. The pothole was not easy to see and he had the indignity of being kindly helped up by a pensioner as traffic came to a halt.

Glenn added that while Calderdale dealt with claims resulting from potholing on a case-by-case basis, a huge part of people’s concern was about safety. “It’s exceedingly dangerous in places. People are really cheesed off,” he said.

Calderdale Council has pledged action will be taken.

Director of economy and environment, Mark Thompson, said: “The unprecedented Boxing Day floods and generally wet winter season have severely affected roads across the country, including Calderdale.

“Amongst widespread infrastructure repairs, the council has been proactively monitoring the roads for defects through extensive safety inspections. Working with contractor Amey, we have responded to many reports of potholes.

“The continuing wet conditions make suitable pothole repairs challenging.

“Most of the ground across Calderdale is still saturated and water draining onto the roads is a problem at several locations in Todmorden.

“Burnley Road, Cornholme, has been affected by water spilling onto the highway from a private culvert. This has now been resolved and repairs have been programmed. Similarly, Burnley Road, Portsmouth, near the Lancashire boundary, is suffering from water draining onto the road from private land.

“Engineers are working to solve the issues and, once the road has dried out sufficiently, repairs will be scheduled. Rochdale Road, in the vicinity of Longfield Way, has been affected by failing manholes in the road. The council and Amey have responded by making the road safe until the utility company can programme works to repair the ironwork. We encourage people to let us know of any road defects by visiting www.calderdale.gov.uk, emailing Customer.First@calderdale.gov.uk or calling 01422 288008.”