East Suffolk faces a backlog in road maintenance of ‘almost £400,000’


Roadworks - Credit: Archant

Road maintenance contractors in east Suffolk face an estimated £400,000 backlog of work to meet expected standards, a county councillor has warned.

Michael Bond told Wickham Market Parish Council’s latest meeting that the “enormous” build up of jobs required to be completed by the county council’s contractors Kier MG was causing roads to deteriorate, potholes to appear and flooding to occur.

Referring to Dalinghoo Road in the village, as a particular problem spot, he said: “With poor drainage it is causing a great deal of grief and despondency for the people who live nearby.”

He added: “I’ve no idea how it has arisen but I’m so concerned that I’ve exerted great pressure and a table has been drawn up by the responsible officer which indicates that in the eastern area of Suffolk almost £400,000 would need to be spent to clear the backlog that has arisen.

“Over the years it’s concerned me because it tends to be the councillor who gets the understandable wrath of these people who have to live with these defects.

“I’m talking particularly about flooded roads and I see it as my job to sort these problems out,”

Suffolk County Council was unable to confirm the precise cost of the backlog in road maintenance, however it has pointed to a number of positive developments.

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Councillor Graham Newman, who is responsible for roads at the council said: “After a year since the highways contract began there have been many achievements including fixing more than 10,000 potholes, clearing over 150,000 gullies and completing over 24,000 individual orders of work.

“However, there have inevitably been the sort of difficulties that you might expect in the first year of a new contract and lessons have been learnt on how to improve and speed up the processes to get work done on the highway. In particular we recognise that some of the small planned works in local communities need to be delivered more quickly.”

He said the council and Kier MG work together on a daily basis and have brought in additional resources to clear the outstanding work over the winter period.

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