UPDATED - Driven to distraction by county border woes

editorial image

People living on the border of Bucks and Northants fear they are being constantly overlooked by the authorities as they deal with inferior road conditions.

Derek Crane, chairman of Westbury Parish Council, said there is an accident waiting to happen as 44-tonne lorries damage the junction to Biddlesden Road, and does not believe assurances the road between Brackley and Westbury will be resurfaced.

The situation has also attracted the attention of the Brackley Pothole campaign, whose founder Mark Morrell has videoed a cyclist taking avoiding action around the potholes.

Mr Crane said the road broke up soon after repairs two years ago, but they have only recently received notification it was going to be repaired. Before the last repair they waited six years for the junction to be fixed.

He said: “We’ve got nowhere with Bucks Highways for the past two years. Part of the problem, and something I have taken up with the district council, is that we are on the absolute border with Northants and tend to be forgotten.”

He added: “The junction is disgusting, and the Biddlesden Road is a disgrace – a road that was built for the horse and cart and the occasional tractor.

“Then we get the Brackley Dryer up there, and while we do work well with them, they run a 24-hour operation with 44-tonne trucks and the road surface does not take it.”

Mr Crane said the road through Westbury is a major route and fears for the safety of road users, in particular motorcyclists unfamiliar with the road.

He added: “I dread to think what could happen if a motorcyclist went through there if it was dark and raining.”

Mr Morrell said: “The junction is forcing road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, to put themselves in a vulnerable position by moving out into the centre of a cross junction to avoid the potholes. “I saw a driver pulling out of the opposite junction narrowly miss a cyclist, fortunately she just happened to look twice.”

Mr Morrell is calling for Bucks County Council to issue clearly-defined time scales for when work will be carried out.

A spokesman for Transport for Bucks, BCC’s highways contractor, said work already carried out on the A422 were preparatory works and the road is set to be resurfaced later this month, although a definite date is to be confirmed. They added the Biddlesden Road will be repaired as part of the £25million ‘We’re Working On It’ programme after being highlighted by a local person.

UPDATE - Since going to press a spokesman from Transport for Bucks said: “The junction has been identified for treatment, and this will take place during this financial year. No date has been finalised yet for the work to take place.”

Potholes can be reported at www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/transport/ea_report_problem.page or call 0845 230 2882.

Join the campaign at www.facebook.com/pages/Brackley-Potholes.