Utility firms blamed for pothole roads

Potholes at the foot of Dobson Bank, Summerbridge on B6451. Photo: Alfred Bright
Potholes at the foot of Dobson Bank, Summerbridge on B6451. Photo: Alfred Bright

Nidderdale’s roads are marred with poor road repairs carried out by utility companies, and they are causing havoc across the area, Pateley Bridge town councillors have said.

Most of the potholes wrecking roads in the Dale have been caused by bad road reinstatements carried out after utility companies have dug up the carriageways, councillors said.

Once the poor quality repairs have washed away leaving gaping holes in the road surface the cost of further repairs often falls on the public purse, they added.

Pateley Bridge Town Council discussed the problems at a meeting on Tuesday, May 7 and questioned North Yorkshire County Council’s Street Works Manager John Summers over the problems.

At least 60 percent of potholes on the Dale’s roads are caused by utility works like gas and water repairs, Coun Chris Hawkesworth claimed.

But, Mr Summers added, utility companies are bound by warranties over the work they do on public roads, and the county council’s road inspectors have strict criteria for the quality of repairs.

But councillors complained that many of the potholes in Nidderdale caused by utility works are not checked by county council inspectors.

Coun John Leggett said: “It is up to you as the highways authority to do the inspections but you only have the resources for around 10 percent.”

Instead, local people and town councils have to report problems when they find them, Coun Leggett added.

Coun Leggett went on the say: “Unless you get the ammunition from us the utilities are getting away with murder.

“If they are not doing a good job we are all paying for it.”

And the problem is made worse by Pateley Bridge’s remote location and the harsh weather.

Coun Stephen Hesselden said: “We have had two or three awful winters. While the salt is very good at getting rid of ice, it is terrible for the road surfaces.”

County Coun John Fort represents Pateley Bridge on North Yorkshire County Council and was at the meeting as well.

He said: “We have only got one road in and out, it goes all the way to Harrogate and it is in a bad state.”

Now Mr Summers has promised to look more closely at Nidderdale’s road problems.

He said: “I would be quite happy to put a team of four or five inspectors in here.”

• What do you think of the roads in Nidderdale? Email nidderdale.news@ypn.co.uk, Tweet @HarrogateHound or write to The Editor, Nidderdale Herald, Cardale Park, 1 Beckwith Head Road, HG3 1RZ.