Lack of maintenance causing roads to fall into ‘crisis’ state

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A lack of maintenance is causing Crawley roads to fall into a ‘crisis’ situation, a councillor has said.

Cllr Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) said the whole road surface in Hazelwick Avenue was breaking up north of Three Bridges station because West Sussex County Council (WSCC) was not carrying out ‘proper routine maintenance’.

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He has taken pictures of potholes in Albany Road, West Green, and Gloucester Road, Tilgate and said Crawley had potholes several centimetres deep.

He said: “I have to say that WSCC have done a lot of resurfacing in Crawley over the last two years which is very much welcomed. However, there are areas and locations that continue to have bad surfaces that, in some cases, are breaking up while not reaching WSCC ‘intervention levels’. An example is north of Three Bridges station on Hazelwick Avenue where the whole surface of the carriageway is breaking up. If left unrectified they degenerate into potholes, which grow larger. So what is needed is for WSCC to carry out proper routine maintenance rather than leave the roads to deteriorate into a crisis situation as happened a couple of years ago.”

Cllr Smith, who is Cycling Touring Club Right to Ride’s Representative for Crawley, added: “They are particularly dangerous to cyclists when they are towards the edge of the carriageway where they can force a cyclist to pull out to avoid them potentially causing conflicts with following vehicles. This situation gets worse in the wet or windy weather as puddles can disguise potholes. Hitting an unseen pothole, especially when travelling quickly, is capable of throwing a cyclist off their bike. Again, a bike loaded with, for example, shopping will be affected worse and is likely to suffer damage to wheels and tyres.”

Dennis Williams, chairman of the West Green Community Forum, said: “Potholes are an issue for cyclist, motorist and pedestrians alike when crossing or driving on the road, not only can it dislodge a cyclist of their bikes, it damaging the suspension and possible bending the wheels of cars, but a pedestrian not looking to the ground when crossing the road could step in it causing damage to their ankles.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said Albany Road was inspected on Tuesday (March 22) for any defects.

The pothole in Gloucester Road was scheduled to be repaired within 28 days.

An engineer was due inspect it on Wednesday to assess whether any further repairs were required.

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