Town hall slammed for Islington’s £80million road repair black hole
PUBLISHED: 10:50 06 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:56 06 January 2015
There are so many gaping potholes plaguing Islington’s roads they could cost a whopping £80million to fix, it has emerged.
According to Freedom of Information request seen by the Gazette, Islington Council has a backlog of road repairs estimated to be £79million.
In 2011, a pothole described as “lethal and the size of a crater on the moon” in Halliford Street, Islington, was named as the worst in London - last year, the town hall pledged £550,000 to help the problem.
Peter Ashford, director of the National Motorists Action Group, said: “Notwithstanding the severe weather of recent times it is a reckless abuse of the motoring public that this council has permitted the shocking extent of destructive potholes to expand and worsen for a very long time.
It is administrative folly to be paying large sums of compensation for damage to vehicles when such money could and should have been spent to maintain the roads to a safe standard that doesn’t damage vehicles and injure road users.
The council is not backwards in taking in motorist’s money from parking charges and penalties; it needs to have the same zeal in spending it to maintain its roads fit for road users as the ancient Romans did.
John Ackers, of Islington Cyclists Action Group (ICAG), said: “Potholes are a real pain in the neck for cyclists, but I wouldn’t say the problem is any worse than it normally is, or any worse in Islington than the rest of London.”
A council spokesman said: “We used the most thorough analysis to cost our repairs – not just to potholes but to pavements and street furniture too.
“Not all boroughs use the same measures to calculate these costs but they will have to in 2016 when the measures we use become mandatory for all.”
“Like many boroughs, we remain underfunded, so in response to a challenging financial situation, we have innovated to bring costs down and improve our repairs response times.
National cycling charity CTC [Cyclist Touring Club] puts Islington at the top [in London] of the league table for responsive road repairs.”
The Government recently pledged £6 billion to help councils fight potholes during the next six years.
Islington’s potholes are often in the spotlight - in January last year disgruntled residents on Sotheby Road, Highbury, were so sick of their tarmac craters they floated rubber ducks in them.
Then in October, a row erupted over a controversial town hall policy to fix roads in poor neighbourhoods before rich ones.