North Northamptonshire Council votes down Labour motion about the state of roads in the area

"At their worst they are a total eyesore, full of deep craters, dangerous to drivers and other road users alike”
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A councillor and keen cyclist says the state of roads in North Northants makes him and other riders feel they are taking their lives in their hands every they venture on them.

Cllr Martyn Reuby, deputy leader of Corby Town Council, appealed to North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) at a meeting on Thursday to improve its network.

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Cllr Reuby said: “It is one of my greatest fears that I hit a pothole, lose control of my bike and end up under the wheels of a vehicle.

Some of the potholes recently reported in the north of the countySome of the potholes recently reported in the north of the county
Some of the potholes recently reported in the north of the county

“I literally would stand no chance and the likelihood of this seems more possible with the terrible state of the roads.”

Cllr Graham Lawman, NNC’s executive member for highways, travel and assets, said its budget for road improvements was ‘limited and not enough to catch up, let alone improve the position’.

Its government grant of £3.8m is far below the £8.1m that it was told it would need to keep roads at a ‘steady state’ in 2021.

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Labour’s Cllr Alison Dalziel handed a petition to NNC’s executive signed by more than 2,000 people asking for road improvements.

She also proposed a motion that NNC asked its contractor Kier to develop a ‘comprehensive action plan’ to improve roads, which she asked to be submitted to its executive in July.

Cllr Dalziel said: “People always used to joke that you could tell you had crossed the county border into Northamptonshire by the poor state of the roads. But it’s no longer a laughing matter.

“At best the roads are like a moth-eaten patchwork quilt.

"At their worst they are a total eyesore, full of deep craters, dangerous to drivers and other road users alike.”

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Her motion was defeated with 19 votes in favour, 36 opposed and two abstentions.

Cllr Lawman said a report was due to be discussed by roads bosses on Friday (March 31) and so any other plan would lead to ‘duplication’.

NNC signed a £210m, seven-year deal with Kier last year.

Cllr David Brackenbury, executive member for growth and regeneration, agreed the state of NNC’s roads are poor.

He said: “I don’t know anybody who is not zig-zagging around or sometimes bouncing across the potholes and that is not a political point. We all do it.”

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In a Freedom of Information request earlier this month, NNC told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it did not know the value of its roads backlog, defined as how much it would cost to resurface all of its roads.

West Northamptonshire Council said its backlog was £236.6m.