15 June 2023
Letter of Complaint to WNC re Condition of Highways

Following our meeing on Monday evening, the Parish Council have approved the following response to send to Highways regarding the lack of action since the letter sent in February this year:

Ms Anna Earnshaw Chief Executive, West Northamptonshire Council

Letter of Complaint to WNC re Condition of Highways

Dear Ms Earnshaw,


We write to stress our deep concerns regarding the upkeep of the roads and pavements in and around Long Buckby and call for your urgent action to address the points below. We believe that West Northamptonshire Council is not fulfilling its legal duty to maintain the upkeep of the roads and pavements in and around the parish.

We acknowledge your response to our letter dated 14th February 2023. We also acknowledge that some patchwork repairs have recently been carried out on The Banks where the most urgent potholes have been patched over.

We still feel, however, that West Northamptonshire Council is failing in its duty to maintain the roads and pavement network in Long Buckby and the situation is now unsafe. We are deeply concerned that our roads could cause a serious accident, or indeed a fatality.

Please could you respond to our questions below:

1. What is the program of repairs planned for roads and pavements in Long Buckby over the next year?

2. When do you estimate that all our roads and pavements will be bought up to the standard required by the 1980s Highways Act?

3. Under the Freedom of Information Act, we would like you to supply us with your log of regular inspections for the roads and pavements within Long Buckby parish for the last two years.

4. Specifically, we would also like to know how your definition of ‘character of road’ applies to the use of heavy goods vehicles and the volume of traffic in Long Buckby?

To re-iterate our specific concerns from our previous letter which have not been addressed:

• B3585 between Long Buckby and Watford – this road has many serious potholes, and the side of the road has collapsed along stretches; most drivers now keep to the middle of the road to avoid damage to their car. The road follows turns and peaks and troughs meaning that many drivers are in danger of colliding with oncoming vehicles also driving in the middle of the road. This is unacceptable and a major hazard.

• The Three Bridges Road between Long Buckby and Long Buckby Wharf – we have identified several serious potholes that present hazards for motorists. For example, the area around Station Garage at bottom of Long Buckby is a notorious black spot.

• The Banks, Long Buckby – repairs have been made recently, but this road has long been the subject of complaints. We acknowledge that recent patching has improved the situation.

• Station Road pavement by the Long Buckby Community Centre down to the Rugby and Football clubs of the village. This stretch of pavement is very uneven and represents a danger for pedestrians due to extensive damage from cars being illegally parked during events.

We would, once again, like to invite you or a senior representative to visit a Long Buckby to:

• Assess the dangers posed by lack of road maintenance for yourself. We will provide a guided tour of roads that are failing to meet the required legal standards.

• Address Long Buckby council taxpayers at a Parish Council meeting to discuss the state of the road network and listen to their views and concerns.

We look forward to receiving your response.

Kind regards

Sue Porter

Clerk to the Council

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