Tenterden Pothole Petition – Invitation 15th January

Tenterden Pothole Petition – Invitation 15th January

Letter to TDRA from David Ward

I am writing to invite members of the Tenterden & District Residents Association to a local protest event about Tenterden’s pothole crisis. We will be meeting at East Cross at 12 noon on Sunday 15th January which is National Pothole Day. As you will know there are more than 60 reported potholes across the town. The A28 at East Cross has so many the road is breaking up. Potholes are dangerous for pedestrians and two wheel riders. They damage tyres and wheels causing owner repair costs of £132 on average. On 30th December I launched a local petition demanding action to fix our roads. This has now been signed by more than 400 people and has received extensive news coverage on the BBC, ITV Meridian, and the Kentish Gazette. In response Kent County Council has carried out some repairs but unfortunately they are just a temporary sticking plaster rather than a long term solution. This has been confirmed by an AA inspection carried out on Friday at the request of their President, Mr Edmund King OBE.

To my dismay KCC Roads Chief, Councillor David Brazier said last May that demand for repairs has “virtually disappeared” and that Kent’s roads are in “much better condition” than 25 years ago. On Friday in a BBC Kent interview he repeated the false claim that there are “relatively few complaints about potholes”. On the same day on ITV Meridian News Cllr Brazier stated that KCC policy is to repair pot holes that are 10cm deep whereas the correct figure is 50mm. I find it remarkable that the person responsible for KCC Roads is so complacent and ill-informed. In fact KCC’s Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee papers (from meetings in September and November) show that the Council is failing to meet its own pothole repair targets. In 2021 Rishi Sunak (then Chancellor of the Exchequer) promised extra funding so that potholes will be “all gone” by the end of this Parliament (Jan 2025). KCC is supposed to be running a ‘pothole blitz’ but there is little sign of this happening in Tenterden. On BBC Kent on Friday Cllr Brazier commented that he was, “Not quite sure why it [the pothole crisis] seems to be worse there [in Tenterden] than elsewhere in the county”. I don’t know if Tenterden’s potholes are the worst in the county and I am sure that they are a serious problem across Kent. The purpose of my petition is to make it clear that there is strong local demand for action to repair potholes here. I have also submitted a complaint under section 56 of the 1980 Highways Act relating to the A28 at East Cross which is clearly out of repair.

I hope these actions will stimulate appropriate action by KCC in the interest of the safety of Tenterden’s residents and all those using our roads. As a road safety professional for the last 25 years I know how dangerous poor road maintenance and potholes can be. Government figures show that across the country one cyclist is killed or seriously injured by a pothole related incident every week. Injury claims by cyclists average £8,825 and by car owners £338. The average cost of repairing a pothole is £40. It is a false economy not to maintain the roads properly as in the end fixing neglected potholes is more expensive for us all. I hope that TDRA members will support our campaign and that you will be able to join us at East Cross next Sunday.

With best wishes

David Ward

Tenterden Pothole Protest 2023

Posted by Siggi Nepp
Wednesday 11th January 2023

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