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Featured News
Are Potholes and Road Defects Everywhere?

26 May 2023
PotholeBrook Road/Brooklyn Avenue Potholes

Lee Scott, County Council cabinet member for Highways, has told LRA Cllr Chris Pond that all the road defects in Brook Road and Brooklyn Avenue were 'made safe' in early May. He was then immediately told by residents that the repairs were sloppy. He wants to say that Essex Highways are simply making holes (which were dangerous) safe again, and the repairs are not to make them elegant.

He and Chris both know the roads need resurfacing properly; a system is being brought in (Cllr Scott says) whereby Chris will be able to nominate them for surfacing. Details are awaited.

In the past there has been a (limited) funding pot that has enabled County Cllrs to nominate defects to be fixed (but only those in carriageways, not footways, which is a disadvantage) which LRA Cllr Chris Pond has taken advantage of. It is planned to continue this scheme in the current financial year, and the Council has been conducting a review of the scheme with recommendations and comments here (PDF).

14 April 2023

Residents will have noticed a lot of potholes and road defects around town, and many have suffered burst tyres or damage to their vehicles, no matter how careful they drive.

Roads (excluding motorways and private roads) are the responsibility of Essex Highways, a strategic partnership between the firm Ringway Jacobs and the County Council.

The underspending over decades for road renewal and maintenance across the county has led to the quality of road surfaces deteriorating. Defects and potholes are eventually patched and repaired but, as many residents will have observed, these do tend to fail, mostly after periods of wet and/or cold weather when defects are much more difficult to repair permanently.

This underspending is illustrated by the Council's budget for road maintenance this financial year. The budget set aside 36.7m for road maintenance, but Essex Highways has said it needed 77.7m each year and has stated that county roads are in managed decline.

The Government has announced additional funding to fix potholes across the country. From this the Council will receive over 5 million, however that is far from what is needed and it remains to be seen how much of that will be directed toward Loughton.

Support LRAWhat Can I Do?

If you see a road defect or pothole, check if has been reported and, if not, report it.

If you think there’s a risk to public safety call Essex Highways immediately on 0345 603 7631 (do not report it online).

Reporting a problem is worth doing, even if it is not fixed immediately. A temporary fix may be applied, or warning signs placed around it to warn other road users. Report it online here.

•    In the map that appears, zoom in to Loughton or use a postcode to search. (You need to zoom in a lot to see reported problems.)
•    You can then either report an issue or view the current status of a known problem.

You can also report road defects and potholes at FixMyStreet (run by a non-profit group) which you may find easier to use, and problems reported do get passed on to Essex Highways.

In the past there has been a (limited) funding pot that has enabled County Cllrs to nominate defects to be fixed (but only those in carriageways, not footways, which is a disadvantage) which LRA Cllr Chris Pond has taken advantage of. If this continues into the current financial year, Chris will continue to do so.

If, after reporting a road defect or pothole, nothing has happened after three weeks and it's in the Loughton Central Division (map) email Chris. If it's outside of this area, you can try contacting the County Cllrs responsible that cover the areas in south Loughton and around The Broadway.

For specific roads which have widespread problems (Brooklyn Avenue is such an example) where there are plans to resurface the road and fix the footways, Chris will chase up whenever appropriate for the Loughton Central area.

Claiming Compensation for Vehicle Damage
You can claim compensation for damage, but the rules are very specific and 90% of claims to the Council are rejected. Your claim should be supported with photos of the road defect or pothole (with measurements), along with a written quote and/or invoice.

The rules are here, along with how to make a claim. You need to also report the defect (as above) before you make any claim. Essex Highways will refute claims where they have had no opportunity to make it safe or it should be safe with careful driving. Their lawyers are very skilled at rejecting claims.

If the road defect has been reported and not fixed before you suffered damage, your claim has a greater chance of success. So always report it!