The aim of this letter is to stimulate some discussion and debate as to why Lincolnshire’s highways have been allowed to deteriorate to such an abysmal state and what actions need to be taken to rectify this problem.
I have just spent a week in Norfolk driving around that county and use that county’s roads, as a direct comparison.
Lincolnshire is England’s second largest county with an area of 6975 km2, a population of 1,073,300 which produces a population density of 153 persons per km2 .
Norfolk is fifth largest, with an area of 5380 km2, a population of 892,900, which produces a population density of 165 persons per km2.
As the two counties are adjoining they share very similar weather patterns and temperature variations.
As both counties start with a similar amount of money per head of the population to spend on road maintenance it would be fair to expect that the roads in both counties are of a similar standard.
It may surprise many that the roads in Norfolk are of a far superior quality than most of those in Lincolnshire.
From the quality of the surface material used to the technical expertise demonstrated on how to lay new surface or reinstate damaged areas, Norfolk is far ahead.
In Norfolk, the number of pot-holes per mile, or surface in dire need of attention, is one tenth of those in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire County Council Highways state that the roads are bad because we have had a “bad winter”.
For a start, the winter was not that “bad” and secondly it was almost identical to that suffered by Norfolk.
All possible evidence points to those who are paid to be responsible for the maintenance of the roads.
In Lincolnshire, we see time again that the primary contractor is not up to the job. There are numerous examples throughout Lincolnshire of highways maintenance work that is poor or shoddy, and totally unacceptable.
Although the contractors are at fault, it is LCC who are to blame. They are responsible for using public money conscientiously, and using due diligence, to ensure the highest quality of work is completed.
If the work is not up to standard it should not be accepted, and financial penalties incurred.
One sees contracts being let to lowest tenders, underbidding, no LCC oversight of contractors’ work, no penalties in contracts or enforcement, are all reasons for the poor and unacceptable management.
The new “patching machine” that has been procured recently is too little too late.
Was the £1.7 million Pothole Action Fund money spent wisely, or frittered away in short lived temporary fixes? One glimmer of hope is the work that was recently completed on the A16 Louth bypass.
The quality of the surface laid, the sealing, jointing and lining are all of the quality we should expect everywhere.
My question to you is, what are Lincolnshire County Council going to do about it?
Enough of making excuses for your department which is, in my opinion, dysfunctional!
It is time for a culture change at LCC Highways and if that means a change at management level, then so be it.
Putting up barricades and failure to engage with the public and town/parish councils is not the answer.
We expect better of you and LCC Highways!
It is time to act, NOW.
I would appreciate a reply prior to your attendance at the Horncastle Town Council meeting in July 2018.
Submitted by Andrew Nealvia email