The Avenue Must Not Be Left To Crumble
July 15th 2017
The road is disintegrating.
These potholes have appeared two months after they were originally filled.
ShakingSome residents of St Bernard's Avenue are used to their whole houses shaking when a large vehicle drives over a nearby pothole. Residents from around Louth have told me about hundreds of pounds of repairs they have had to make to their cars as a result of running over potholes.
In January 2017 I tweeted Richard Davies, the portfolio holder for Highways at LCC, saying that the road needed resurfacing properly. "We don't have resources to resurface every road that needs it", he responded.
However, it's clear from talking to people locally that many people's car maintenance costs have gone up due to the state of the roads. So somebody pays. Somebody has to afford it.
The danger of doing nothingThere were 46 cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2015 in UK road accidents where a poor or defective road surface was a contributory factor, according to the Department for Transport.
The official response, and other projectsIn April the county council released a programme of works for 2017/18 for the county's roads. In Louth it included carriageway surfacing or surface dressing work on Wood Lane, Breakneck Lane, Edward Street/South Street junction, the Louth Bypass, Manby Crossroads, Newmarket, Spire View, and The Crescent. Once again there was nothing about St Bernard's Avenue.
According to the council's Highways Asset Manager: "With regard to St Bernard's Avenue, around a third of the road has been resurfaced in the past and is in good condition. Other areas have been identified as requiring improvement and are included in our future works programme. However, it is unlikely any improvements will take place until the 19/20 financial year. Anyone who is concerned about a pothole, can report it via our online system at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/faultreporting or by calling 01522 782070."
Development plansOne of the problems of giving this road such a low priority, in spite of how busy it has become, is that it is set to become still busier in the near future. Louth itself is set for growth in the next fifteen years of at least 1200 homes, and quite possibly many more, if East Lindsey's Local Plan is approved by the inspector. There are already permissions in place for 46 homes off Eastfield Road, and outline permissions for almost 200 homes have been granted for land off Chestnut Drive and at the former Park Avenue football ground.
In addition, the ambulance service has permission to move in next to the police and fire services in nearby Eastfield Road. So traffic on St Bernard's Avenue is likely to get considerably heavier in future. Yet the county council's road maintenance plans don't seem to be taking account of this situation.
The petitionThere is an online petition on 38 Degrees about resurfacing the road. In addition, at least 265 people have signed the paper version of the petition. Please sign it.
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