Persistence pays, it seems. I don’t think it was my article on the dreadful state of Bateman Street in our last newsletter that led to an instant resurfacing, but I hope that my pursuit of the county’s highways department through www.fillthathole.org.uk since February 2012 did contribute. When I cycled along Bateman Street on the morning of December 20 there were half a dozen large trucks parked there, their crews looking at a totally flooded cycle lane but by the time I returned they’d got rid of the water and the tarmac as well, and by the end of the day we had a nice new stretch of red cycle lane. However it seems that the drains are still higher than the dips where puddles form. We have also been told that Panton Street will soon be open for cycling in both directions.
Unfortunately the eastern end of Bateman St is still collapsing (affecting westbound cyclists and vehicles rather than the eastbound cycle lane), and buses continue to destroy Hobson Street – which I must keep reporting on www.fillthathole.org.uk. Meanwhile an AA report based on the work of 800 ‘streetwatchers’ (covering two miles each) found an average of ten holes and crevices on walkways, up from 7.6 last year (in London there were 19, against 11 last year), and the repairs are poor. The roads are in a better state, with 12.5 potholes, against 14.9 last year, but again repairs are poorer than they were. The government has said it will release an extra £215m for pothole repairs.