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Southampton's roads are cracking up

January 23, 2010 6:00 PM
David Goodall inspects just one of the many potholes appearing on Southampton's patched road network

David Goodall inspects just one of the many potholes appearing on Southampton's patched road network

After the recent cold weather the roads in Southampton up cracking up even worse than before, as the ice combined with the Council's emphasis on patching rather than whole road proper resurfacing has left our roads in a shocking state. The council only response is emergency funds to increase the patching and as everyone is aware these patches only last until the next spot of bad weather.

So if you are, like me, shocked at the dire state of the roads in Southampton, then you will be interested in a petition the Liberal Democrats have just presented to the city council. The petition calls on the city council to start investing properly in repairing the roads which are falling apart in many cases and have been made worse by the freezing conditions recently.

More than 500 people signed our petition at street stalls we held in Shirley, Lordshill, Bitterne and Portswood last year. They all agreed something must be done to sort out an urgent problem faced by every car driver. Cyclists are also angry that their safety is put at risk by large potholes and cracks in the road surface which make their journeys dangerous.

The council is proposing to invest an extra £800,000 per year, which might sound a lot until you learn that it will require £85 million to bring the roads up to a decent standard. At that rate of spending it will be 106 years before we have satisfactory roads.

Pavements are also in need of attention in many places, as shown by the amount the city council pays out in compensation to people injured - nearly three million over five years. A 75-year-old woman approached us at out street stall in Bitterne with her arm in a sling after falling over and breaking it. She was unable to drive, swim or even do daily chores because she was in so much pain.

Yet while people are suffering because of a lack of investment in our roads and pavements, the Conservatives who run the city council splashed out £85,000 on a spin doctor. That money would certainly repair some of the thousands of potholes we now have in the city's roads. It's time for the Conservatives to put their hands in their pockets and get their priorities right. We need better roads and pavements and it's time we got them.

Commenting on the roads David Goodall Southampton Itchen's Parliamentary Candidate said:-

"What is needed is a proper programme of whole road resurfacing not a network of patches that may join up to form a road surface"

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