Dangerous road funding bid thwarted

RESIDENTS in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Essex have been told by a council a key road cannot be repaired - because technically it is private.

By Roddy Ashworth

RESIDENTS in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Essex have been told by a council a key road cannot be repaired - because technically it is private.

People living in Jaywick, a former holiday village near Clacton, voiced their concerns about the state of Brooklands Front - also known simply as Brooklands - which is in serious need of attention.

The road is littered with potholes and other hazards, making it difficult for locals, many of whom are elderly and disabled, to make their way along it.


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There are also worries that ambulances and other emergency vehicles may have trouble negotiating the street, which stretches along the shoreline and off which a number of avenues run.

But when local councillor Roy Smith wrote to Essex County Council requesting that action be taken to improve the road, he was told no funding was available.

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Mr Smith said that residents had raised the issue at a public meeting held at a community centre in the village.

“The residents were very concerned about the serious condition of the Brooklands Front, and the meeting was very concerned about its roadworthy condition,” he said.

“This road is in serious need of urgent repairs, caused by serious potholes and conditions on the road, much worse than I can describe.

“The worry I have is that public vehicles will have a dangerous problem to travel, like buses, fire and ambulances.”

But Geoff Harris, area highway manager at Essex County Council, replied saying that the state of the road was not the county's responsibility.

“I appreciate the concerns that residents have raised but, as I believe you are aware, Brooklands is a private road and although public service buses do use the road the county council highways maintenance budget is not intended for repairs to such streets,” he told Mr Smith.

“On occasions in the past the county council and Tendring District Council have arranged for some minor repairs to be undertaken to try and keep the road in a safe condition, but the road really requires significant levels of funding in order to provide the improvements you are looking for.

“Maintenance resources are already limited and I cannot justify using substantial amounts of our allocations to remedy defects on non-publicly maintainable highways.”

Mr Harris added that he would contact Tendring District Council to see if they might be able to perform some minor repairs.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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