Repairs to Surrey road where cyclist was seriously injured delayed till October

Guildford road has "completely failed" says county councillor

by John Stevenson   May 27, 2014  

Gurt pothole (CC BY 2.0 licensed image by Brett Jordan:Flickr)

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Repairs to potholes on a section of road in Surrey where a cyclist suffered substantial injuries have been postponed until October after the road deteriorated to a point where it now needs major resurfacing.

Tony Webber went over the bars when he hit a pothole on Stoughton Road, Guildford last month. He sustained a broken and split nose, and a fractured eye socket. His teeth were pushed through his lips by the force of the impact, and lost skin on his arms and legs.

He is still waiting to hear from the council about his claim for damages.

He said: “I wrote to the council saying I would be making a claim and lodged it the day I got out of hospital.

“I haven’t had a response.”

The group of potholes that Webber hit have since been repaired, but the rest of Stoughton Road has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be resurfaced until October, according to Andre Langlois of GetSurrey.

Road "completely failed"

Pauline Searle, county councillor for Guildford North said she had been told by highways officers that the necessary repairs were now so major it would take six months before they could be undertaken.

She said: “My understanding was that it would be done in spring so it would be one of the first ones.

“I chased and they said they had no date and I chased again and they said it was a major job because the road has completely failed and it would take six months.

“That was, word for word, what they told me. I was told it would have to go on the major road repairs list.”

£200,000

She said she had been told that the repairs would cost £200,000.

A Surrey County Council spokesman could not confirm that cost estimate, but said it was believed that the road’s concrete base was sound.

“This will need a standard concrete treatment to seal the joints, before adding a resurfacing layer over the concrete,” he said.

“This work is currently scheduled for October.”

"I don't want to ride"

Tony Webber said he was pleased that the particular potholes that had damaged him and his bike had been filled in, but  the time and effort spent patching up holes could be used to do permanent repairs on entire roads.

Unfortunately, the experience has put him off riding.

He said: “As pathetic as it seems, I don’t want to ride a bike at the moment. I used to enjoy a little bike ride but I don’t want to do it now.”

Fill that hole

Spotted a gaping chasm that needs repair work? CTC’s Fill That Hole iPhone app, given £30,000 in funding by the DfT in December to go towards a revamp and development of an Android version, allows cyclists and other road users to highlight defects that need remedying to the relevant local authority.

22 user comments

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Frustrating that so many roads have deteriorated to the point they are so dangerous for cyclists. Whilst I appreciate councils have limited resources to repair, more should be done to give councils the resources to make these fixes quicker, saving cyclists from more injury, bike damage and reducing the amount of insurance claims that need to be investigated and paid out.

I am left incredibly frustrated by south bucks council who are failing to repair dangerous pot holes and roads which they have been informed of months ago. I am currently more worried about coming off my bike on a pot hole than being hit by a car!

posted by bilbobbaggins [1 posts]
27th May 2014 - 9:27

13 Likes

A lot of roads in surrey are like this at the moment. Its adisgrace

posted by balmybaldwin [46 posts]
27th May 2014 - 9:42

16 Likes

numpties...

Had they spent money on general upkeep of the roads and not pinched on it, they wouldn't be facing this massive increase in spending for major repairs...

posted by Paul_C [260 posts]
27th May 2014 - 9:46

7 Likes

Maybe a quicker and cheaper solution would be to build a 6 lane bypass around the pothole?

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc
@HOYvulpine

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posted by aslongasicycle [331 posts]
27th May 2014 - 10:16

35 Likes

This is an absolute joke. Having lived in the area I know this particular stretch of road has been bad for years. short term fixes after short term fixes. What I've never understood is they resurfaced half of Stoughton Road about a year ago but why not all of it and in particular the stretch of road which has resulted in these injures?

posted by cchead77 [8 posts]
27th May 2014 - 10:50

14 Likes

I use the Stoughton Road as part of my local training routes. The road surface has been deteriorating for the last 5 years.

I did a count of the potholes on a 500m section last month and stopped at 100, and that was just on my side of the road.

Like many roads around here it was originally built as a concrete housing estate road in 1950s and has been tarmac'd over. It is now used as a rat run between the Woking road and Guildford Uni and Hospital as the proper route is constantly blocked or backed-up from accidents on the A3.

The drainage on the road is not working which leads to constant large puddles of water that seep between the tarmac and the concrete and damage it from the inside.

I'll be very surprised if it gets fixed this side of 2015.

My sympathy and best wishes to Tony Webber.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [628 posts]
27th May 2014 - 10:55

13 Likes

It's Surrey. Same council that gave itself a 60% pay rise.

Can't have road repairs diminishing the "pay ourselves" fund, can we?

posted by jacknorell [577 posts]
27th May 2014 - 12:08

10 Likes

Part of the problem is the inefficiency and cost to get the repairs carried out.

a)Factor in the number of people to stand around watching someone dig a hole, make enough tea, ensure the traffic light system is not working, keep tabs on the overtime and ensure the quality is poor enough to require a return visit in 2 months and not to mention the 800 point health and safety check list that must be completed when all that is really required is a bright jacket and a road sign.

b)The planning required to ensure that roadworks in one area coincide with each other -causing local gridlock - and if possible a traffic survey, and extra kudos where the work takes place just before the gas company digs up the road for essential maintenance. It takes a lot of effort to be this crap.

But seriously, there are a lot of inefficiencies and the process itself is dated and expensive. Infrared is being used in some countries to heat the road, making the seal so much better, and it takes 1/10 of the time and less people. No doubt the council unions won't like it but our roads need urgent attention. As a cyclist its the worst I have ever seen, especially as so many of the big holes are right in your line. Councils - Wake up, join up, look at what other sensible countries are doing.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [397 posts]
27th May 2014 - 12:17

8 Likes

My other option is a bit right wing but we have a large community of cheap resource doing nothing which could be put to good use.

I'm talking about Prison inmates. They sit around, doing bugger all. Lets get them out -in chains if necessary- working on the roads. 2 guards, a couple of shotguns, maybe a horse and some hot soup. A lot cheaper than the current system. Plus, they get some exercise.

Whats the problem.....ah I know, some human rights tosh.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [397 posts]
27th May 2014 - 12:22

10 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
My other option is a bit right wing

Oh.. here we go!

Simmo72 wrote:
Whats the problem.....ah I know, some human rights tosh.

You do realise that prisoners do actually carry out paid work as it is, and at no level does it interfere with human rights but that excuse is ALWAYS punted out by the right wing.

One major reason I would argue against this is that it would have 2 effects: Firstly it reduces jobs for people who have their liberty (but you obviously have no respect for them anyway seeing how you berated navvies).

The other is much darker and should be fought at every turn: it increases the power of the prison industrial complex and gives them a cheap/slave labour force.

You only have to look back through what some have posted to find the questions you need to ask:

bilbobbaggins wrote:
Whilst I appreciate councils have limited resources to repair

Why is it councils have limited resources? Could it be that central government keeps cutting their budgets? And why doesnt central government have the money? Could it be related to the trillion pound bailout of the corrupt financial system that hasnt repaid a single penny of it? Could it be related to the multi billion tax avoidance schemes by corporate companies thats allowed to continue by their friends in government?

Start plugging the potholes that allow the wealth generated in this country to be hidden away in offshore banks and you'll find there will be plenty of money to plug the holes in the roads.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [604 posts]
27th May 2014 - 13:19

13 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
My other option is a bit right wing but we have a large community of cheap resource doing nothing which could be put to good use.

I'm talking about Prison inmates. They sit around, doing bugger all. Lets get them out -in chains if necessary- working on the roads. 2 guards, a couple of shotguns, maybe a horse and some hot soup. A lot cheaper than the current system. Plus, they get some exercise.

Whats the problem.....ah I know, some human rights tosh.

And the other problem is that they'd be shit at it.

I wouldn't task most inmates to do anything more complicated on our roads than picking litter.

posted by bikebot [789 posts]
27th May 2014 - 13:30

3 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
I'm talking about Prison inmates. They sit around, doing bugger all. Lets get them out -in chains if necessary- working on the roads. 2 guards, a couple of shotguns, maybe a horse and some hot soup. A lot cheaper than the current system. Plus, they get some exercise.

and maybe we can televise it as the latest reality tv show, and even have a telephone vote for our favourite prisoner who gets to go free when they're finished Smile

netclectic's picture

posted by netclectic [121 posts]
27th May 2014 - 13:36

8 Likes

netclectic wrote:
Simmo72 wrote:
I'm talking about Prison inmates. They sit around, doing bugger all. Lets get them out -in chains if necessary- working on the roads. 2 guards, a couple of shotguns, maybe a horse and some hot soup. A lot cheaper than the current system. Plus, they get some exercise.

and maybe we can televise it as the latest reality tv show, and even have a telephone vote for our favourite prisoner who gets to go free when they're finished Smile

No need. They just get transferred to an open prison and ask for release on licence and they walk away and don't bother coming back. Wave

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [628 posts]
27th May 2014 - 13:44

7 Likes

zanf wrote:
Simmo72 wrote:
My other option is a bit right wing

Simmo72 wrote:

You only have to look back through what some have posted to find the questions you need to ask:

bilbobbaggins wrote:
Whilst I appreciate councils have limited resources to repair

Why is it councils have limited resources? Could it be that central government keeps cutting their budgets? And why doesnt central government have the money? Could it be related to the trillion pound bailout of the corrupt financial system that hasnt repaid a single penny of it? Could it be related to the multi billion tax avoidance schemes by corporate companies thats allowed to continue by their friends in government?

Start plugging the potholes that allow the wealth generated in this country to be hidden away in offshore banks and you'll find there will be plenty of money to plug the holes in the roads.

Governments local or central only have the money that they get from taxation or from taking out a loan. A loan that has to be paid back with interest out of future taxation. Ideally we would fund all expenditure from taxation. Sometimes it's sensible for large infrastructure projects that pay their way over decades to finance the Capital Expenditure via a loan. Unfortunately successive governments have decided that they can spend more and tax less by taking out more and more loans. We currently owe £1,254.3 billion.

That's 1,245,300,000,000. Divide that up across the working population of 29m tax payers and we each owe £43,251. Luckily UK government is currently paying a nice low 1.91% interest. But that's £826.09 of your tax bill in government debt interest.

But that's just the money we already borrowed. That's the debt. Unfortunately we now have a budget that can't easily be balanced. The government can't just stop spending or just put up taxation without consequences. So there is a defecit. The defecit is the amount of difference between the income from taxes and what it plans to spend. This amount is paid for by borrowing. Every year the defecit is the amount added to the national debt.

The government has been working on getting this down and it has. It's down to only £96,000,000,000 (bn) this year.

So yes the government has decided we need to stop spending so much.

Now if they collected all the money due but lost in tax fraud that is £32bn.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...

£32bn is a lot of money but it's only a third of this year's defecit and only 0.025% of the national debt. Don't get me wrong every little helps but it's just plain silly to think all your problems are solved if you nailed the tax fraudsters.

The fact is that we have a lot of infrastructure. A lot of that infrastructure is old. We also have a crowded island especially in the South East and so a lot of old infrastructure is used a hell of a lot. Roads may not have been designed for the weight and size and volume of traffic now using it. When you fix it you want to make sure it's upgraded so it's not a problem for a long while. That's expensive. Infrastructure and road repairs are but one of the competing calls on government expenditure. It's about priorities. Then you have a horrible winter and potholes that probably wouldn't have all emerged in one go but over the next few years all happen at once.

I doubt that Guildford Borough Council are numpties or that central government just starves them of cash for fun. I don't doubt that people see a problem whether in the NHS or schools or other services and demand more cash spent on it. And for most of my life when given the option to pay more tax the voters of the UK have for the most part voted for lower taxes but more spending.

Don't blame the government this one the last one or any of them for the last 50 or more years. They all give people what they want. This is the result.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th May 2014 - 14:15

10 Likes

Is the head of Transport for Surrey CC not a convicted Drunk Driver? would possibly explain their lack of action if John Furey is constantly too sozzled to notice the bumps in the road, oddly so is the head of Guildford Council, Stephen Mansbridge...

posted by georgee [140 posts]
27th May 2014 - 14:52

6 Likes

georgee wrote:
Is the head of Transport for Surrey CC not a convicted Drunk Driver? would possibly explain their lack of action if John Furey is constantly too sozzled to notice the bumps in the road, oddly so is the head of Guildford Council, Stephen Mansbridge...

What you mean this fellah?

Callum Findlay, Head of Transportation
Surrey County Council
Callum is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 35 years in the field of transportation. He has worked both in the private and public sectors. Whilst in the private sector he worked on overseas transport projects for both the World Bank and the United Nations. He has been with Surrey County Council for almost 20 years, the last 10 of which he has held the posts of Chief Engineer and Head of the Transportation Service.

Looks like he has the requisite qualifications to me.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th May 2014 - 16:12

6 Likes

what is a 'gurt' pothole? Does it mean one filled with water?

posted by anarchy [60 posts]
27th May 2014 - 16:44

2 Likes

The suggestion that nothing has been repaid post the bank bail outs is incorrect:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24122713

More sales will follow and the government of the day will probably make money on them.

As has been said above, we still have a massive over spend and the lowly cyclist is at the bottom of he food chain sadly.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
27th May 2014 - 17:04

1 Like

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [173 posts]
27th May 2014 - 18:09

3 Likes

If there isn't enough money to repair those potholes, obviously motorists aren't paying enough road tax!

/ducks Devil

posted by bikebot [789 posts]
27th May 2014 - 19:58

3 Likes

The biggest problem with this idea is that there aren't enough prison officers to supervise the prisoners we have whilst they're locked in their cells 23 hours a day let alone supervise them working on roads.

posted by ollieclark [19 posts]
28th May 2014 - 14:20

1 Like

It's the bloody councillors awarding themselves 60% rises in their allowances that doesn't help.

posted by freespirit1 [191 posts]
29th May 2014 - 7:27

0 Likes