Frustration over Croydon Council's pothole policy
RULES for fixing potholes have been branded potty after it emerged workers are attending badly affected roads, only to fill in some but leave others to linger.
Croydon Council's "find and fix" policy means contractors turn up to fill potholes which pose the highest "risk" but leave all others deemed not to pose a threat – causing them to develop over time.
Rural roads are most affected as they are only reviewed every six months, while town centres are inspected more frequently and given a higher priority.
Jean Shields, of Smitham Downs Road, Purley, regularly drives down Grovelands Road where two potholes have been left for unfilled for about six months.
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Mrs Shields said: "When you look at the policy itself it is just silly. Something needs to be changed.
"I reported the ones in Grovelands Road, which are very bad, because I drive past them a lot and they have been there a long time.
"I'm sure if something could be changed we could get to a position where we see less of them."
County council highways chief Cllr Phil Thomas said the budget for road maintenance has been increased from £2million four years ago to £7million now.
He added: "We give a contractor an order to fill in certain potholes, but if it is the case some haven't been filled in, it may be that someone hasn't reported them."
But Purley and Woodcote Resident's Association (PWRA) chairman Tarsem Flora slammed the council's policy, saying: "This is all red tape – if the contractor filled all the holes they can when they get to a road, life would be so much easier.
"But someone has to mark them, they get a quote, then they fill it in – the whole system is unbelievable. I think they should change their policy. It's much more economical if you visit a particular area to fill up all the ones you can see."
PWRA vice-chairman Gabriel Batki-Braun said potholes in his road, Verulam Avenue, had also posed a significant problem.
He added: "The policy means roads are left in a completely unacceptable state."
A council spokesman said: "The council has an inspection and maintenance routine based on the type of road or footpath and the level of risk for pedestrians and drivers.
"The reason for filling some potholes but not others in a road is that we deal with the ones that pose a risk as a priority. The inspector does inform the contractor about the other potholes, so these will be repaired too.
"In terms of reviewing our process the council has applied a find and fix approach following the severe winters for 2009 and 2010, but as this winter was relatively mild the number of potholes was significantly reduced.
"The council procedures are consistent with other highway authorities'."