Devon County Council needs to spend £65m to keep the roads in the state they are today, yet have only £35m in their resurfacing budget.
Despite the funding gap, your Labour team continue to press for road resurfacing across the revised St Thomas ward. We’ve already seen work in Newman Road, Stafford Road, Maple Road and very soon Wardew Road.
We welcome the County Council’s announcement that Dorset Avenue has been prioritised and the road surface is planned to be treated as part of next financial year’s programme.
Devon County Council’s road maintenance and repairs in Exeter is guided by their Safety Inspection Manual which explains how often DCC inspect, the criteria they use to decide if something is a safety defect and what they will do about any defects they find.
There is specific safety inspection information for roads
One of the key criteria they use to determine how and when they effect a repair is related to network maintenance category:
03 National Primary route
04 County Primary route
05 Secondary County route
06 Local distributor
07 Collector road
08 Minor collector road
09 Service road
10 Minor service road
11 Minor lane
My Freedom of Information request is to find out the category for each road in the Cowick ward
I’ve been contacted by a a resident about a number of issues, including the number of potholes around the ward.
The roads around here, notably Somerset Avenue, Sussex Close & Dorset Avenue are an absolute disgrace.
They a patchwork quilt of potholes, some of which have been bodged up but a lot of them have been left untouched.
This is what we have been doing about the potholes
As ever, this is a Devon County Council issues, in their remit as Highways Authority.
Throughout the county, Devon are budgeting for £35m a year for road resurfacing – unfortunately it costs £65m to keep them in the current – appalling – state.
Nothing I can say or do can change that decision.
But I am working with my colleagues to draw attention to state of the roads in Cowick.
I’m not sure if you saw any of the articles in the Express & Echo but we recently ran a petition about the condition of Dorset Avenue – I counted over 200 potholes along the entire length.
That petition was presented to Full Council in December, and we are now waiting for a response from DCC. I will admit I am not hopeful of a good outcome. But I have other measures up my sleeve to take this further.
It’s not as favouritism that we were focussing on Dorset Avenue, but because of the vast number of potholes. Be assured that we are aware that all roads throughout the ward are, similiarly, in a terrible state of repair.
So although many roads are in desperate need of a resurface, as it stands at present DCC will only tackle what are described as ‘safety defects’ – 40mm deep (that’s the size of a golf ball) and at least 30cm long in one direction, leading to the patchwork you describe.
I will continue to walk around Cowick with my trusty golf ball and point out to DCC when I believe a pothole is big enough to be a ‘safety defect’.
Community News | 21 November 2014
As previously disclosed in Community News, there are more that 200 potholes in Dorset Avenue.
And as a petition is about to be presented to the County Council, local councillor Paul Bull has discovered through a Freedom of Information request that, so far this year, DCC has paid out more than £5,700 in compensation to Exeter car drivers for damage caused by the state of th’s road – that is nearly as much as was paid out in total for the whole of the previous 4 years.
Cllr Bull told Comunity News: “Despite earlier reassurances, it was decided that Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] was not the correct body to receive our Dorset Avenue resurfacing petition, and it was agreed it should either be presented to either Devon County Council’s Cabinet or Full Council instead.
“It is hoped that Cllr Roy Hill would do this at the December meeting of one of these bodies.”
Fellow councillor Heather Morris said: “Of course, it was frustrating – not for us, but for the 100 signatories of the petition.
“And those 200 potholes are just the tip of the iceberg. There are potholes all over the ward.”
Cllr Bull added: “On Saturday, I was speaking to a resident in Oak Road, who told me that his street hasn’t been resurfaced in the 30 years he’s lived there.
“He was telling me he’s just about to get his car repaired yet again after damage caused by the road surface.”
Cllr Bull said: “The response to my FoI request shows that, in the year to date, almost as much has been paid out in compensation as in the previous 4 years.
“If the County Council doesn’t start to address the potholes, I can see claims for compensation going even higher.”
LATEST | The intention now is to present the Dorset Avenue Resurface NOW1 petition to DCC Full Council at County Hall at 2.15 pm on 11/12/14