I noticed something when I was driving around Weston-super-Mare in my Tiny Little Stripey Car recently.

We *do* have our fair share of conventional circular potholes and there’s quite a few pavements where the tree roots have made the pavements less than flat. This is an example of a pothole on Severn Road:

Severn Road Pothole

But most of the “potholes” that made the Tiny Little Stripey Car bounce around had parallel sides and went from one side of the road to the other. In other words, most of the “potholes” that we experience aren’t actually potholes but are the result of someone laying a pipe or cable under the road and not finishing the job properly. Here’s an example:

Walliscote Road Pothole

That’s on Walliscote Road which Virgin Media is currently digging up. When asked, Virgin Media said that this was a temporary fix and they’d be back to do the proper repair later, but would they have being doing that if they’d not have been asked or would they have left it in this state? And even though they’ve said there will be a more permanent repair soon, are they hoping that we’ll forget about it and leave it as it is despite their promise?

What Would I Do About The Potholes?

At the moment we don’t seem to be dealing with contractors who do shoddy work. And yet that’s what’s causing the majority of the problems with the road and pavement surfaces in the town. I think it’s something that we need to be doing because at the moment our roads are terrible but we don’t have the money to fix them. And despite the current council claiming that they’re powerless to do anything about contractors that do a bad job, we’ve had legislation [New Roads and Street Works Act 1991] to deal with this since 1991:

It is the duty of the undertaker by whom street works are executed to reinstate the street.An undertaker who fails to comply with any provision of this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction—

(a)in the case of an offence consisting of a failure to comply with subsection (3) or (4A), to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale; and
(b)in any other case, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on that scale.

Should we be paying Council Tax to fix a problem that was caused by someone else? I don’t think we should so one of my priorities if elected is to make sure that contractors can’t get away with this sort of behaviour. If we do that, we should have enough budget to repair the rest of the potholes and we’ll have a town that doesn’t look like an earthquake has recently struck.

Thoughts? Email me: potholes@oneclickwsm.co.uk.