Pothole issue to be raised with responsible Councillor

So many pothole reports from both Councillors and residents are being fobbed off by Council officials, that the issue is going to be raised at transport chief Cllr Andy D’Agorne’s meeting on Thursday.

All complainants receive these days is a message saying

“The current status of your report is: closed –  the problem has been inspected and no follow up work is required”

In the past – even if a pothole report didn’t meet what were termed “intervention levels” – an explanation of why work would not be carried out was given. That practice seems to have ceased.

As most on line reports include a photograph, there is clearly a risk and one that is likely to continue to deteriorate.

NB. We have reported again leaf detritus which has been in some of the gutter in little Green Lane since the autumn

Action needed on verges and roads

The Council will be publishing its highways resurfacing programme for the next financial year shortly. There is now a major backlog of work in the area. It is not just potholes that need filling. Large areas of carriageway and several footpaths need patching or resurfacing.

The present Council promised to reconstruct all highways in the City, so it will be interesting to see the extent of next years programme.

School Street remains in poor condition.
Verge damage in Dijon Avenue

Problems with verge damage in the Dijon Avenue area have escalated since building work started on the Lowfield site

Road repairs backlog building in York

Residents will have a lot of sympathy with local highways inspectors who have the unenviable task of allocation very limited resources to road repairs. Poor weather has increased the number of potholes appearing over recent weeks. The poor state of highway surfaces is a reflection of inadequate investment in maintenance by the York Council for nearly a decade.

An additional pothole filling team is promised to be in place from April. Their arrival can’t come soon enough, at least in west York.

The Councils on line “report it” system now monitors highway defect reports. It is possible to see which reports have been read by officials. Several, reported over the last month, are recorded as “solved”. In reality the problems remain. The potholes have simply been judged not to be deep enough to warrant filling.

That is potentially bad news for cyclists.

Councillors receive very little in the way of monthly performance reports on highways activities, so its impossible to know whether the condition of roads and footpaths is getting worse or improving. The number of reports and complaints received is not routinely published.

Complaints about damage to verges, like parking on footpaths, go largely unmonitored. In summer it is a similar situation with highway obstructions like over grown hedges and weeds.

We hope for better in the future.

Askham Lane carriageway, near A1237 roundabout, will not be repaired
We’ve asked for detritus to be swept from the gutters in Otterwood Lane
The thorn hedge on the snicket to the rear on St Josephs Court (Cornlands Road) needs to be cut back before it becomes a hazard for pedestrians
The Acomb car park recycling area is tidier than it has been on some occasions in the past. Someone is still fly tipping in the area though.

Litter and pothole problems on Askham Lane

The “rural” part of Askham Lane is looking a bit neglected these days. It is a busy entrance route into the City and it really should be kept tidy and in a good state of repair.

Hopefully when the current issues with flooding have been resolved the area will get an uplift.

“Deep clean” requested on key snickets

Many short cut “snickets” get a lot of use. They are vulnerable to litter while large amounts of leaf and other detritus can accumulate. Some are obstructed by overgrown hedges and trees. The surfaces can wear quite quickly because of constant footfall. Many seem to be neglected by the Council although they are an essential part of the  plan to encourage more people to walk for short journeys. They deserve a higher priority for the Councils resources. 

Potholes on carriageway are also a disincentive for cyclists. We’ve reported continuing problems and Gale Lane and Foxwood Lane today

Work is progressing on two major building projects in west York. The centre for the disabled on Ascot Way is now getting its roof installed. Modernisation work, on the adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation, is taking place at the same time.

Disabled centre on Ascot Way. Single lane traffic working now in place.

Work has also started on constructing houses on the controversial Lowfield development. A decision on how the section of the site reserved for elderly persons housing will be developed is expected next month. 

Lowfield development
Finally another example of a self seeded tree which has been allowed to grow to the point where it is pushing over the railings which protect a water pumping station (Foxwood Lane). There is plenty of room a few metres away on which trees could be planted which would cause no problems for anyone

Some strange Council responses to problems

Some reports of highway defects are being knocked back with “no further action required” responses this year.

One of the deficiencies of the Councils “report it on line” system is that no reason for inaction is given. There was a time when a pothole might go unfilled because it didn’t meet what were styled “the Councils intervention level”. Basically they weren’t judged to be deep enough.

Eventually frost damage would, of course, ensure that it did become bad enough to justify filling.

But there are some very uneven roads which are, perversely, being judged as safe these days

Morrell Court access road potholes which are not judged to require attention

Council officials are also reluctant to send warning letters to drivers who have damaged verges, even when it is obvious who is responsible,

Verges need hard-surfacing to prevent damage

One piece of better news, with local Councillors reporting that work on finishing drainage work on the Osprey Close footpath will recommence shortly. The footpath may be diverted around the worst of the mud with further repairs to the land drains taking place when the area dries out.

Public Right of Way blocked at top of Osprey Close

Graffiti , bins and footpaths reported

The Council is dealing promptly now with graffiti reports. The new system seems to be working well.

Graffiti on litter bin on little Hob Moor
Graffiti on a utility box also on little Hob Moor. Reports like these are passed on to the utility company but there is rarely a quick response. We think that the utility companies should ask the Council to clean the boxes on a rechargeable basis.
Footpaths in Newbury Avenue need reconstructing now that the new bungalows are almost ready for occupation. The damaged verge on the Newbury Avenue/Kingsway West junction needs to be repaired at the same time.
We’ve reported the full poop scoop bin at the entrance to Acomb Wood
Still waiting to hear when the public footpath at the top of Osprey Close will be reinstated. A local Councillor is now on the case.

Potholes getting worse in York

The Council was told this week that it needed to investment more in road maintenance. That has been obvious for over 5 years following budget cuts in the early part of this decade.

Frost is now accelerating the deterioration in places such as Foxwood Lane and Bellhouse Way.

It is important that issues are reported to the Council.

If you use the Councils “report it on line” system it will generate a reference number automatically.

This helps to identify the issue if you have to follow it up later.

The system doesn’t produce update reports for highways issues in the same way that litter, graffiti and fly tipping are automatically tracked. Progress on these types of issues can be viewed in the residents personalised issue folder after you log in.

Potholes on Foxwood Lane. Report ref; 191212-000048