Like many people, I’ve noticed that Hawke Road in the Gainsborough ward I represent on Ipswich Borough Council has been patched up quite a bit over recent years. I have reported numerous potholes myself, and seen a few of them fixed. In places these repairs overlap like a vertiable patchwork quilt.
Curious, I filed a Freedom of Information Request with Suffolk County Council to try and find out exactly how many times they had sent out their privatised contractors to make repairs. The answer just came back and it is nothing short of staggering:
Since they were appointed in 2013 Suffolk County Council have sent out their private contractors, Keir, to make patch repairs to Hawke Road no less than 142 times! That’s one repair every three weeks on average, or one patch for every three metres of road.
Shockingly, they admit to having lost count of how much all these patch repairs have cost us as Council Tax payers. My firm belief is that properly resurfacing the road four years ago would have been a cheaper approach with better results.
This sorry tale just demonstrates the waste at Tory-run Suffolk County Council. The current highways regime is set up to benefit private contractors, who can treat Hawke Road and thousands more like it across Suffolk like a cash machine, going back every few weeks and being paid over and over to make poor quality patch repairs.