Residents fork out to fix problem potholes

PUBLISHED: 17:14 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 12 August 2010

FRUSTRATED residents were so sick of waiting for a council to fix their pothole-riddled road they did it themselves at their own expense.

FRUSTRATED residents were so sick of waiting for a council to fix their pothole-riddled road they did it themselves at their own expense.

The large craters in The Knoll, Beckenham have wrecked residents' car suspensions and the people living there said it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured.

The Knoll is an unadopted road which means Bromley council has a duty to repair it if it is a risk to people's safety but so far it has refused to.

So residents took the matter into their own hands and paid £1,500 to fix it.

Retired Geoffrey Spencer, 60, said: "The council are very happy to issue parking fines but aren't so keen when it comes to fixing the road.

"We have been asking for months to have it repaired but nobody has done anything. It's frustrating and a bit of a liberty but we have no alternative. If we left it, it would get worse and worse.

"The average age of people in our block of flats is 70 and it was only a matter of time before an elderly person ended up with a broken ankle. They are the most enormous potholes and they are all filled up with water. It is a real safety hazard.

"Some friends of ours came to visit us. It was dark and the road is so badly lit they didn't see the enormous pothole outside our house and wrecked their car. It cost them a couple of hundred pounds to get it fixed."

Residents clubbed together to hire JCB diggers and workmen to repair the road last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Mr Spencer was pleased with the result. He said: "It is far better than before.

"We could have done without the downpour of rain we got on Wednesday but it is greatly improved. So far so good."

A Bromley council spokesman said: "The whole issue about adopted and unadopted streets is a legally complex issue which most people do not normally consider.

"Essentially, most streets are shown in the council's statutory records as adopted highway which means the public have the right to use them, usually both on foot and with vehicles and that the council is responsible for maintaining them at public expense.

"There are a number of streets in the borough though which are shown in non statutory records as unadopted highway.

"Although these streets can be used by motorists and pedestrians, the highway authority is not responsible for maintaining them. The highway authority does have discretionary power to make repairs if it deems the condition to be dangerous.

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