This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 26.
We have contacted the City Council to ask for improvements to the surface of the cycle lane on Devonshire Road at the foot of the cycle bridge. This is still in a poor state following a series of excavations for the housing development (Tenison Court) on the old Ridgeon site.
Following our letter in the middle of August, the city’s Highway Inspector checked the site and approved it as being a satisfactory standard for a ‘temporary reinstatement’. It transpires that utility companies (‘statutory undertakers’) have six months to do a finished job after road works. Their responsibilities, and rights, are determined by the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 , and the Inspector says he visited the site frequently, and is satisfied that all three companies who worked there satisfied their obligations for signs and safety.
The Act also requires companies to display a ‘courtesy board’, saying who is doing the work, and how to contact them. We are confident that none of the three companies displayed this information, but sadly the Highway Inspector has no powers to enforce this rule.
Eastern Electricity’s Project Manager has now promised to get his contractors to check the reinstatement as soon as possible.
One useful piece of information surfaced during this process. We can now quote a more direct phone number for reporting potholes, trenches and similar problems within the City boundary – (01223) 458260 . This is the central number for the Highway Inspector, the Highway Maintenance Manager, and their colleagues, at the Mill Road depot. They prioritise reports based on severity, and hazards are repaired within 24 hours.
Some time ago we asked the County Council for a single phone number (and e-mail address too) for all transport-related feedback, in all locations. In the meantime, make a note of 458260!
I tried the system out by reporting the deterioration of the kerb where Midsummer Common meets Fair Street.