Call for action to repair potholes across South Suffolk

Long Melford pot holes.
Hall Street Cllr Richard Kemp and with staff from LM Pharmacy, Harry Potter, Chloe Ward and Jo Eggby.

Picture Mark Westley
Long Melford pot holes. Hall Street Cllr Richard Kemp and with staff from LM Pharmacy, Harry Potter, Chloe Ward and Jo Eggby. Picture Mark Westley
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A call for action has been sounded to address ongoing issues with potholes – after it was revealed over £10,000 was paid to claimants in the last year.

Suffolk County Council has been urged to move quicker on pothole repairs, following figures showing that 446 motorists filed claims for compensation to repair vehicle damage caused by road defects between May 9, 2016, and May 10, 2017, with 41 payments totalling £10,223 made so far.

Babergh district councillors and residents gathered in Long Melford last week to draw attention to long-standing potholes in Hall Street.

Richard Kemp, district councillor for Long Melford, said: “Despite all the frustrations in every village in the Melford division over potholes and the time to repair them, at least a sense of humour shines through in Long Melford.

“Most of us think the time has come for the council to adopt a simple, quicker and more pragmatic approach to getting work done, not impeded by layers of bureaucracy.”

Parish and district councillor John Nunn added: “I’ve been reporting the one outside the chemist for over a year and markers were on the Suffolk County Council map.

“About a month ago, it disappeared as though they had done it. They keep coming and patching up and saying it’s a temporary fix.”

Chloe Ward, who works at Long Melford Pharmacy, said the potholes had been an issue in Hall Street for two years.

“It’s a massive health and safety concern. They are right on the disabled parking bays,” she said. “It’s caused lots of problems with elderly people getting out of their cars. People have fallen and twisted ankles.”

Elsewhere, Sudbury residents have called for a fix to the defects in East Street.

Road resurfacing works are currently scheduled for East Street from May 30 to June 8 – but the Free Press understands permanent repairs are not likely until the old shoe shop after the Cavendish Way junction is demolished and the scaffolding is removed.

On the Free Press Facebook page, users also cited potholes in areas such as Gaol Lane and Burkitts Lane in Sudbury, and Butt Road and Kersey Avenue in Great Cornard.

A council spokesman explained that its highway maintenance operation plan is based on “a risk-based approach to reactive maintenance”, meaning repairs are prioritised for busier roads and footways.