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Matter of time' until poor South Cambridgeshire roads cause an accident


By Ben Comber


Potholes around Sawston with Rob Grayston, seen here on the main road through Sawston. Picture: Keith Heppell
Potholes around Sawston with Rob Grayston, seen here on the main road through Sawston. Picture: Keith Heppell

The sheer number of potholes in South Cambridgeshire roads is an increasing source of frustration and worry for many residents.

Cambridgeshire County Council says it repaired 1,339 potholes last week. But Sawston resident Rob Grayston, who is also a Labour candidate in the district council elections, says the hurried repairs are not made to last.

He said: “It seems to be that there are a load of holes, they fill them in with the porridge, or whatever the technical term for it is, and then of course it gets cold, it freezes and bursts out. So you’ve got a terrible situation for cyclists and drivers are swerving all over the place.”

The council said its ‘dragon patcher’ has been upgraded since some repairs did not work.

A spokesperson said: “We are confident that the quality is at least as good as traditional methods of repair. There were a small number of potholes where the dragon patcher didn’t work as well as planned when it first came into service, the cause of this has now been rectified and our contractor has launched an improved model. We are looking forward to even better results with this new machine.”

The council has 11 repair crews working in addition to the dragon patcher and they are working to repair damage caused by the ‘Beast from the East’. The council says 9,506 potholes have been reported so far this year, and it now has 1,832 outstanding potholes to repair. It has repaired 2,646 potholes over the past two weeks.

Mr Grayston said: “Sawston is the biggest village in South Cambs, there are over 7,000 people here. There are a lot of elderly people and parents aren’t happy about their kids having to go on roads next to potholes and swerving cars.

“It may sound a bit melodramatic to say it’s only a matter of time before someone has an accident, but actually it is.

“There’s also the fun run coming up. Thousands of people take part each year and people are concerned about twisted ankles. The race marshal has spoken to highways and they’ve said they’ll have a look at it but it might be that we have to go out and spray fluorescent rings around all of them.We’re very much looking forward to someone doing something about this.

“When the council turned off the street lights they got turned back on when people made a noise – and when they decided to stop gritting the roads. Hopefully, if people speak up about this, something will get done.”

Also standing for election here are:

David Roy Bard, Conservative

Kevin Cuffley, Conservative

Clare Delderfield, Liberal Democrat

Brian Milnes, Liberal Democrat

Anand Pillai, Labour



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