Council Criticised After Pothole Repair Shortcomings

Cheltenham Road Maintenance Crews Under Fire Over Missed Potholes


The highways team at Gloucestershire County Council has been criticised by Cheltenham residents after failing to properly address the pothole problem on a street in the town centre.

Parabola Road in the Montpellier area of the town was the subject of an operation carried out by the highways team at the end of last month, which was meant to fill all the holes and cracks in, the Gloucestershire Echo reports.

However, a number of the damaged spots remain unchanged after the work, leaving local residents angry about the ongoing danger to motorists, pedestrians and bike riders. These are mainly located in the stretch outside the Ballroom restaurant and Montpellier Wine Bar.

Cyclist Ceri Vines warned that there could be some serious consequences, telling the paper: “I cycle along this road to work and back every day and fear for my life because of the appalling state of the surface.

“Towns like Cheltenham make a big deal out of promoting sustainable forms of transport, but I believe the condition of the roads poses a real danger to cyclists which is putting people off taking to two wheels."

He added that the holes often force bike users to ride in the middle of the road, as well as making turning and signalling harder as they have to keep a stronger grip on handlebars.

Area highways manager at the county council Jason Humm apologised for the delay in completing the work and said that the highways team will be back "within a fortnight" to fix the remaining holes.

Earlier this week, the same paper reported that the county council is facing a series of delays to road maintenance work, following a change in contractor from Amey to Skanska.

Highways chief for the council, councillor Vernon Smith, said the retraining of staff and other factors like weather and a move to new headquarters had caused delays, with around 30 per cent of projects behind schedule.

However, he argued, this was not an unusual situation to be in.

Expert Opinion
We see far too often the horrendous consequences that potholes can have for road users and cyclists.

“Cyclists are vulnerable on the roads but this is made worse when they have to dodge potholes as well as traffic. During busy periods, often cyclists have nowhere else to go other than over a pothole for fear of being struck by a moving vehicle.

“We are regularly contacted by motorists and cyclists who have suffered injuries after being thrown from their bike or been involved in accidents because of a pothole and need further treatment and rehabilitation.

“It is important that steps are taken to ensure that roads are maintained to the highest possible standards to help prevent accidents for happening.”
Stephen Nye, Partner