Mill Road to be properly repaired!

It is difficult for anyone to claim they were responsible for achieving the major repairs to Mill Road but Romsey Labour have been pushing hard for this for over a year.   (5-8-14)
Cambridgeshire County Council is preparing to repair the carriageway on Mill Road from the City through to Madras Road.
This will involve carrying out deeper repairs to the worst affected areas and then resurfacing across the full width of the carriageway.
They plan to carry out these works from 20 – 31 October 2014 (Monday to Friday).
Due to narrow carriageway widths and to allow safe access for plant and machinery the work will need to be completed under a road closure. To minimise disruption it is proposed to implement the road closure from 7pm to 2am. During the road closure access will be maintained to properties but there may be a delay if works are in progress in that particular area.
Traffic Management personnel will be available to direct people. A diversion route will be put in place and will be clearly signed.
Nearer the time of works there will be more details of the closure and its impact on residents and businesses.
The council will use Variable Message Signs, carry out a letter drop to affected residents / businesses, issue a press release and update via the Internet / Social Media.


Keeping the pledge: Dave has now completed an initial visit to every side road in Romsey looking into potholes (8-6-14).  These are now catalogued and whilst they may not be a definitive list they are a very good representation of the situation in Romsey.

Dave is also concerned about the condition of Mill Road and he is arguing for this to be treated as a priority for a major repair.

Dave’s first success with potholes since becoming a councillor (9-6-14)

Dave reports:

“On Monday 9th June 2014 I met with two members of Cambridge County Council’s highways team, Evan Laughlin and Andy Barham, to discuss the roads and pavements in Romsey.  Whilst these areas are a County Council remit, Evan and his team recognise that City Councilors also have a place in this process.  In this regard I have sent Evan and Andy a copy of my audit of the potholes in Romsey.

Every year there is a Highways Annual Inspection when the majority of our roads and pavements are inspected by a team member physically walking them.  Other roads such as Mill Rd is walked once a month and Coldhams Lane, Brook and Perne Rd are also inspected once a month.

Local Highways Officer Andy Barham can authorise local repairs, intervention levels occur when a hole on the highway is 50 mm but if in the wheel track it is 25 mm.  These repairs can involve plugging, which is when asphalt is put into the pothole and hammered down.  Pat

ching is a more sophisticated process (and more expensive) and can be easily identified by the regular oblong shape.  This work is undertaken by a contractor, and is more complicated than simply putting some asphalt in the hole and moving on.  Quite rightly involves a need to provide proper health and safety for the person working in the road: defending them with a vehicle and bollards in its simplest form and with traffic signals if the repair is larger.

Cyclic maintenance used to be undertaken as a routine measure but now the team have to put in bids for County Council money to get work done and this is judged on priority.  Top dressing roads with a veneer of hot pitch and granite chip, which can only be done from May to September because the road needs to be warm, has been a preferred method for extending the life of a road surface and this involves.  However, the County Council is currently using Micro Ashphalt a more durable material and this can be seen on Montreal Road.

As suggested above, this planned procedure involves prioritising.  I shall be pushing to get this approach adapted to provide a more predictable programme that will let each street know where they are on a ‘to do’ list.  This will need to involve the County Councillor who by now should be aware of my suggestion.

In our discussions I have pushed for roads in Romsey to be part of next year’s bid be top dressed with micro asphalt.  I have also asked for some potholes to be given priority and as a result of this one has already filled in Catharine Street and one in Seymour Road that is soon to be done.

Mill Road causes residents and me a concern; at several points the surface is breaking down and in some places the road is visibly collapsing.  I believe this should be dealt with sooner rather than later and I have spoken to Evan about this.  What is needed is a major refurbishment and I hope this will happen soon.

In regard to those annoying problems where a road is repaired and it often seems like the very next day a contractor turns up to dig a hole, Evan explained that ‘Street Works Teams’ (providers of utilities) as statutory undertakers have authority to work on the roads and pavements although they have to inform the council.  Nonetheless, there are emergencies and these are unlikely to be known about before a road is resurfaced

Maintenance of yellow lines, street signs and trees and bushes overhanging the pavement are also Evan’s responsibility, but new restrictions and crossings have to be initially started by the County Councillor.  Parking is also an area dealt with by the County Councillor but I am sure that in both instances they would respond collegiately to requests from City Councillors.

Streetlights though are not Evan’s responsibility and they are now subject to a PFI bid (accepted under the previous administration).

In all it was a worthwhile opportunity to talk with the people who do the day to day and year on year maintenance.   This experience made clear that City Councillor’s views are recognised as legitimate by County Council Officers.”


Dave calls on County to tell us when we can expect our roads and pavements to be repairedWhen Dave Baigent was Romsey’s Labour Candidate for the City Council election he called for a greater emphasis on getting the money that Cambridge Council Tax payers give to the County Council spent in the City.

Dave said (5-2-14)

“Our pavements and roads are a disgrace.  We are worrying about potholes in the roads that are a danger to cyclists and car drivers.  The County Council are chasing their tails filling in holes and it shouldn’t be like this.  What we need is a proper programme of maintenance: a rolling programme to top dress Cambridge’s Roads.  The target roads need to be listed with dates published so that residents know when to expect a proper repair.  So for example if you live in Catharine or Ross Street you should know the date the refurbishment will take place.

The people of Romsey have a right to cycle on safe roads and to walk on safe pavements.  We also have an equal right to know when we are going to see a return on what we pay to the County Council.”

This raised pavement nearly threw a woman out of her wheel chair.  Dave has reported the problem (30-3-14).  What I need is to be the councillor for this ward so people will pay more attention to me.

Romsey Labour – Knocking on a door near you all the year around.
As the Romsey Candidate people say to me that local politics is about local issues.  I agree, but first you have to recognise that National Politics has a considerable control over the local.  The ConDems set the frameworks and most importantly the budgets.  So when you vote locally remember this.

Remember also how available your local party or candidate is.  Labour have been door knocking for the whole year.  We do not sit in our office and phone people or simply send out newsletters.  Our structure is transparent and open.  We meet each month as a ward committee and in our constituency committees.  But most importantly we are available to the people of Romsey.  As the candidate I pledge to listen and to act on behalf of residents.

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