December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 3, 2013
An MP has demanded that improvements be made to “shoddy” repairs on a key north Essex road.
MP for Witham Priti Patel has written to the Roads Minister Stephen Hammond to highlight concerns over maintenance work that has been carried out on the A120 at Bradwell between Braintree and Marks Tey.
She says people living in the area, who have been calling on the Highways Agency to improve the drainage system and lighting on the stretch for a number of years, have been left disappointed with the poor quality of work, which took place in late August and early September.
They have also criticised the Highways Agency for its lack of dialogue with people over the work and say the wrong street lights have been installed.
In the letter, sent on Monday, Ms Patel wrote: “I have visited the site myself and have seen shoddy workmanship, materials left lying around and tarmac not properly laid. Local people living around the A120 have also been affected by high noise levels while the works have been undertaken.
“Residents have also pointed out to me that the replacement lighting is too bright and the initially planned parts and lantern heads have not been supplied.
“Despite residents and members of the parish council questioning the Highways Agency for details of when the appropriate parts will be made available, this information has not been forthcoming.
“My constituents now feel that the works are not delivering value for money and that more constructive engagement from the Highways Agency with them would have enabled a successful maintenance project to be completed.”
Ms Patel said people in the area have been desperate to see the maintenance work carried out but now feel let down because the work is not resolving the problems and instead is “causing more issues for local people”.
She signed off by calling on Mr Hammond to review the matter to ensure that the Highways Agency carries out any future the work in co-operation with people living nearby and “in a way that delivers value for money for taxpayers”.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Patel said: “Residents and parish councillors have campaigned hard over many years for this stretch of road to be upgraded and maintained to a proper standard. Now work is being undertaken the standard is appalling and the handling of this scheme is shambolic. The Highways Agency needs to get its act together to deliver improvements that benefit the local community and the taxpayer.”
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said at this stage he was unable to comment and that because the letter was sent to Mr Hammond it would be the Department of Transport who would respond in due course.