Pothole shame: The most complained about roads in Calderdale

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Angry road users in Calderdale have complained about the state of the borough’s roads more than 3,000 times over the last three years.

Potholes have been driving people mad the most, provoking 3,223 complaints to Calderdale Council since 2015.

When complaints about the general state of the roads are added to the figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Courier, the total comes to 3,639.

REVEALED: Top Ten most complained about roads for potholes in Calderdale

Councillor Scott Benton, leader of the Conservatives in Calderdale, said: “Many of the roads across Calderdale are in a very poor condition and have been now for some time

“The quality of pot hole repairs is an issue which is brought up by many residents time and time again and so the fact that the council has received a huge number of complaints about pot holes on particular roads is not a surprise.

“To make matters worse, the Labour group have forced through a number of cuts to the highways budget over recent years and this is clearly having an impact on the quality of our roads and repairs.

“The leadership of the council need to reconsider these funding reductions and their approach as to how we maintain the different categories of road within the borough to ensure that there is a consistent approach’.

Councillor George Robinson (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe), said: “We need an urgent review on the councils highways policy which must prioritise tarmacking on main roads instead of patching; which is neither sufficient nor cost effective in the long term.”

Councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe), said: “Many of the roads in the Brighouse area are in a poor state of disrepair including in the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward which is often raised in our ward forum meetings.

“But the current Labour leadership of the council have for a number of years cut the highway maintenance budget.

“This also applies to our Safer Cleaner Green team budget which I have never supported and never will.

“I know we have experienced a particular cold icy winter with tons of salt spread on the highway network which does nothing for the road surface, but we cannot compromise the safety of our residents.

“If local residents notice a pot hole then I would ask that they contact the council to report its location by e-mailing customer.first@calderdale.gov.uk or telephoning customer first on 01422 288001.

“They can also call into the office at 19 Horton Street Halifax HX1 1QE.”

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: “The figures suggest that Calderdale drivers are faced with pitted and rutted roads at every turn.

“The extent of the problem is clearly illustrated by the £48,800 the council paid out in 2016/17 to meet the 89 successful claims brought by motorists who have suffered because of potholes.

“The pay outs cover not just repairs to bent wheels, broken springs and ruptured tyres but also medical expenses and legal costs.

“Of course, the real danger is faced by those on bicycles and motorbikes who risk life and limb when they try and negotiate these streets.

“We have sympathy with the financial difficulties local authorities are facing and hope that at the very least they are taking a risk-based approach to tackling the potholes, prioritising spending on the busiest routes and those that are popular with vulnerable road users.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Coun Barry Collins, said: “Maintaining good quality roads is a priority for the Council and we are currently investing £3.5m in a programme of resurfacing schemes being delivered across the borough.

“We do all we can to tackle potholes and carry out regular inspections of Calderdale’s roads.

“We take a proactive approach to repairs and since 2015 we have repaired around 42,000 potholes. We also encourage residents to continue to report any potholes or road defects to enable us to attend to them as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately the freezing temperatures and relentless rain of British winters make roads more susceptible to damage and we always see an increase in the number of potholes at this time of year.

“We have invested almost £400,000 this financial year in work specifically to tackle potholes and we are currently using around 8 tonnes of tarmac per day to address reported issues and those from our safety inspectors,” added Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth/Mixenden).

“When potholes on adopted roads are reported to us, we aim to make dangerous defects safe within 24 hours, and other serious defects within 14 days. Residents can report a road defect online at https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/transport-and-streets.”