ROAD woes are causing a hole lot of trouble for elderly residents in Weymouth – and they say the county council won’t help them out.
A road behind Ferrybridge Cottages is ‘unadopted’ and so doesn’t fall under Dorset County Council’s responsibility.
Residents say that the road was severely damaged in storms earlier this year and is covered in ‘huge’ potholes that fill with rainwater. They have been refused a request to the county council for a donation of tarmac scalpings so they can fill in the holes themselves.
The council says the residents must pay for the tarmac scalping, which is a leftover product from road works, like other farmers and owners of private land.
But resident Terry Hawker says he believes the council has a responsibility to help because it is ‘just a matter of time’ before an elderly person is injured on the road.
He said: “We need some help down here.
“It’s tarmac scalping we’re after because it does stay there.
“We’re not asking for a huge amount.
“I contacted highways to see if we could get some. We’re willing to fill in the holes ourselves, it’s just the stuff we need.
“They’ve come back and said about £213 for a load.
“I am willing to put in a chunk of the money myself, but the people around here have not got the money.
“They are all elderly and it’s a lot to ask them to get together.
“Surely it’s surplus?”
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “We have spoken with a resident from Ferrybridge Cottages about resurfacing.
“Unfortunately it is not part of our highway.
“As Ferrybridge Cottages is a private, unadopted road, we are unable to carry out resurfacing work.
“Residents of private roads are able to purchase materials similar to an arrangement we have with farmers and private farmland.”
The government estimates that there are approximately 40,000 unadopted roads in England and Wales, making up 4,000 miles of road surface and the total cost of bringing them up to an ‘adoptable’ standard would be around £3billion.
The law on maintenance of private roads is complex and is contained in the Highways Act 1980. By definition, an unadopted road is not maintained at public expense and the local authority is under ‘no obligation’ to pay for its maintenance.