As a resident of Chichester, I would like to make a complaint which concerns the deteriorating state of roads in and around the Chichester area, especially on two fronts.
Firstly, on some roads, an equivalent would be to drive on the moon’s lunar landscape. I am referring to the numerous and sometimes downright dangerous potholes that are blighting our infrastructure. The situation is getting worse.
There are many roads, which have, and what could be classified as having isolated potholes, which are frustrating enough. However, the main roads I feel seem to be in a permanent state of disrepair with multiple potholes are:
:: Florence Road
:: College Lane
:: Kingsham Avenue, especially the section between Grove Road and Cherry Orchard Road
:: Worcester Road, especially at the mouth of Rochester Road/ Norwich Road
:: Melbourne Road
It is bad enough spotting potholes in daylight, let alone in the dark. How many potholes are obscured because they also look like a puddle?
In the past couple of days, a colleague of mine in a car in the Chichester area went through a pothole concealed by rainwater; not only was there sudden and violent impact with the steering, but the vehicle also bottomed out with the chassis scraping the top edge of the pothole.
Driving a car, watching for and negotiating potholes is challenging enough, however two-wheeled vehicles are particularly vulnerable. How long before a serious accident occurs?
If the roads were of an acceptable standard, how much less in servicing and maintenance would there be for drivers? The cost to road-users could be immediately noticeable, but ironically overall immeasurable, due to long-term issues that may not be identifiable at the time.
Could there not be a marking system used when the potholes are inspected so other members of the public do not have to report the same fault? For example, if indelible paint is sprayed around the pothole, the public will see at least some action has been taken.
The temporary repairs made to the roads, are just that – temporary. A return visit must be made in the near future of that repair to make good, or it quickly returns to its pothole state.
The turnaround for repair work and the type of overall repair work carried out is, in my opinion, poor. Some of the roads mentioned are thoroughfares with numerous vehicles using them, whereby there is a faster deterioration rate of the sub-standard road surface.
The onus of responsibility it seems has switched to road-users now having to ring in to report the state of the roads. Yes, there should be a moral sense of duty to report anomalies, but it now looks as if we the public, through stealth, are now front-line observers for pothole watching and reporting. I reported the pothole that my colleague had gone through and I was told I was the first person to highlight the fault. Therefore, what happened in all that time beforehand when the pothole was deteriorating? Nobody took responsibility and it was even in a residential area.
Secondly, the issue concerning flooding. Most times when it rains, there are flood problems and we are not discussing substantial downpours for this situation to exist. We are also not talking of overflowing rivers here either, but sub-standard drainage. The A27 bypass is in the process of much overdue flooding repair work. Is the rest of Chichester being neglected?
The areas that mainly get affected are:
:: College Lane
:: Quarry Lane/ Bognor Road
:: Bognor Road
:: The Park Hotel roundabout
:: Douglas Martin Road/ Spitalfield Lane
:: Tangmere Road and the village itself
For example, look at the whole of College Lane. We have a prestigious building in the form of a university adjacent to that road with its numerous students, staff and visitors. They encounter flooding and road closures at one end, with a detour via Wellington Road. If they can get through from either direction, they then have to endure a truly D-class road, with its dodgy road surface and potholes, to get to their destination.
I am aware of the austerity measures. Our roads are not only an embarrassment to locals, but I am sure, to visitors. We do not seem to be getting a very good deal by means of value in return for our investment.
Mr SG Parker