Staffordshire County Council and their (apparent) Pothole Preservation Policy.

We started to log the potholes that need repairing in Burntwood but soon realised that it was pretty well every Road, Drive and Close in the town so Staffordshire County Council please see the map below and assume work is needed here.

Burntwoodpotholemap

Here we try to anticipate some of your questions…

Q But the announcement of an extra £5 million worth of new machinery will help won’t it?

A Hard to say but in answer to a question from a Labour Opposition member in 2017 two other machines costing £12.000 – £18,000 a week to run had managed just 10 potholes in two County Divisions in Burntwood between April and October 2016!  The highest number repaired in the same period was in Lichfield Rural West Division with 136.

Q  But isn’t Burntwood getting its fair share of work now?

A Well let’s look at last week’s reports of potholes in the County.   Of the 230 reports only 4 different ones were in Burntwood.   The small crater in Princess Street, Chase Terrace was reported 5 times that week alone in addition to all the other weeks it had been reported by residents who couldn’t believe it hadn’t been fixed.

Q Before I report a repair can I see if it has already been reported?

A Not with Staffordshire you can’t.Fixmystreet

They have their own unfriendly system where you have to go through various stages on their own website and only after you have reported it and got a reference number can you find out about progress.

Q Is there a better way?

A Yes there is but not in Staffordshire.

FixmystreetWarksIf you are next door in Warwickshire, and many other Council areas, you click on the map on your phone and you can see what has been reported  and see updates at any time.  If the problem is in fact a district council matter then it gets reported to them.

 

Q But doesn’t this mean that the less friendly the system the less likely it will be used to report problems on the roads?

A You may say that but we couldn’t possibly comment.

Q How good is Staffordshire County Council at responding to reports?

A If you are a cyclist – then perhaps “rubbish” would be the best answer.  The website fillthathole.org.uk have them ranked 126th out of 214 highway authorities.

Q It can’t get any worse can it?

Answer

SCC Highway capital 2018
From the Medium Term Financial Strategy agreed by the Conservatives last month

 

 

Hooray! Camera can now take photos

or probably not.

Driving along Cannock Road in Burntwood (at about 26 mph) I noticed the leaves had gone from in front of what is Speed Camera autumnsupposed to be a safety camera installed to deter speeding motorists in Burntwood.  Well credit where it is due, I thought,  when I get back I must thank the Police and Crime Commissioner and/or Lichfield District Council’s Parks dept.

On the return journey (27 mph) it was clear they had nothing to do with it!  It was Mother Nature that had provided a clear view for the camera.  Neither Staffordshire’s Tory Police and Crime Commissioner or the Tory District Council have done anything to make Burntwood’s Road safer.

If this is one of the cameras on 3000 miles of roads (excluding Stoke On Trent) that is switched on then it’s only going to work between November and March or April each year!

19.11.17

 

 

Police expect volunteers in Burntwood to catch speeding motorists – but don’t switch their own cameras on!

Whilst Community Speed Watch volunteers in Burntwood give their time (and risk some abuse) trying to make our roads safer in Chasetown, Chase Terrace and Boney Hay Staffordshire Police admit they only have 5% of their cameras switched on.

CspeedW

It might be that there is a camera somewhere in the Burntwood and Hammerwich area that is working but in a reply to the Press Association’s Freedom of Information request last week Staffordshire Police responded to say that only 14 out of their 272 road safety cameras are switched on.

Clearly they are not “switched on” to the benefit of deterrence – unlike the West Midlands Force which has 100% operating.  Their Police and Crime Commissioner has reported recently on a 14% reduction in accidents because of this different attitude to road safety.  West Mercia has 69% switched on and even Warwickshire has 33% operating.  Our Police and Crime Commissioner has not issued a statement or apology.

Speed CameraSo we can be pretty sure that this camera on Cannock Road (outside Burntwood Park where children play) is not switched on but if it is then clearly Lichfield District Council, who are responsible for the trees, don’t want anybody being caught there.

Road Safety organisation Brake has commented on this finding and if you want statistics to help you lobby Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner then take a look at their website.

05.11.17