Pothole plague is more down to the catastrophic collapse of our roads than the severe winter

I was amazed to hear a spokesman for Keir tell BBC Radio Shropshire last week that the winter just past was “one of the worst in living memory.” Nonsense. It doesn’t compare with 2009/10, which was the coldest winter since 1979. I remember both.

We didn’t get as many potholes in 2010. That was because our roads were in a better condition.

Now far too many of Shropshire’s roads are at the point of catastrophic failure because of constant budget cuts. It only takes a spell of nasty weather, and that’s normal in this part of the world, for potholes to breed like a plague of rats. You only need to drive along Sheet Road to witness this.

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This winter weather didn’t help but the eruption of potholes this Spring is also down to Shropshire Council’s neglect of highway maintenance

It has been bad winter but not exceptional. But the last few months have proved near fatal for the county’s roads. After years of neglect, it doesn’t take much bad weather for Shropshire’s roads and pavements to fall apart. The Shropshire Council cabinet member for potholes, Steve Davenport, says he has “never known things to be so bad.”

The council’s new highways contractor, Keir, is working “flat out” to repair potholes using central government cash. It has done repair work here in Ludlow in recent days. That is welcome and long overdue. But Shropshire Council has slashed its road budgets by £5 million this month and will axe another £5 million next April. And patching roads is only a short term fix to long term neglect.

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Should Ludlow become a 20mph town?

It is time to slow down the pace of driving in our town.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a conference in Shrewsbury on 20mph speed limits. I was spurred to attend by our very active campaign by local green group, Ludlow 21. Its members want all residential streets in Ludlow to be 20mph. According to a survey of nearly 500 people, four-fifths of residents want a town-wide 20mph limit on local streets. Even more want a 20mph limit on their streets.

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Stop groaning about slow speeds, concentrate on safety on Shropshire’s roads

A joint post from Kate King, Lib Dem candidate for Burnell in the May Shropshire Council elections, and Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North.

Local representatives are calling for a greater priority for safety on the roads of a county where traffic speeds are above the national average. New government statistics show that only eight council areas in England achieved faster speeds on A roads than Shropshire in 2015. In 2015 also, statistics reveal that more than half the injuries on the county’s roads were on A roads (423 of 796 injuries).

Kate and Andy are calling for improvements to safety on the A49. They think that we don’t need to drive any faster, we should concentrate on reducing deaths and cutting injuries.

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Highways England to close A49 overnight from Monday – bizarre diversions need urgent action

We have an urgent need to repainted road markings and road studs along the A49 north and south of Ludlow. The markings at the junction of the A49 and the B4365 (the road across the racecourse), for example, are barely visible. The junction needs refreshed lines and new studs to reduce the risks of accidents.

At last the work is going to be done by Kier Highways, a company working for Highways England. The road will be closed from 9pm to 6am from Monday 31 October to Friday 11 November. But the diversions proposed are bizarre. The proposal is to divert all traffic, including HGVs onto the narrow residential streets of Craven Arms and Ditton Priors. At least, I think that is what Kier is proposing in the most confusing letter I have received since becoming a councillor.

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