Furious Star readers demand urgent action from Amey on 'sub-standard' £2bn road resurfacing in Sheffield

Furious Star readers have condemned shoddy road surfacing work across the city and called on councillors to hold private contractor Amey to account.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:17 pm

Dozens have been in touch to complain about defects in the £2bn Streets Ahead programme.

The outsourcing giant started the 25-year Private Finance Initiative in 2012 aiming to renew every road - and banish Sheffield’s reputation as ‘Pothole City’.

But a growing number of residents say new surfaces are already crumbling and need doing again.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

A road crew at Bents Green.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield businesswoman Kate Ibok of SisiMi Restaurant claims she was denied a C...

In some areas, and even on very quiet roads, potholes have appeared indicating poor materials, they claim.

And on some streets finishing works around manhole covers and drains has not been done.

HOW LONG IS AMEY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ROADS?

Richard Pillinger on Long Line which was resurfaced in November and will be repaired 'in the near future'.

The contract, which includes maintenance, lasts until 2037.

But a crucial clause, 8.1 ‘Cap on Liability for Latent Defects’, has been redacted from the copy on the council’s website.

It states: “The Service Provider’s liability for carrying out its obligations under Clause 8.1 shall be limited to: - and is followed by nine black lines.”

WHAT HAPPENED TO AMEY IN BIRMINGHAM?

System of potholes and furrows due to failing surface and patches on Greystones Road, which was resurfaced in 2014, create a dangerous hazard for cyclists on a steep hill.

In 2019, Birmingham City Council ended a 25-year £2.7bn roads contract with Amey folllowing accusations of poor workmanship, not doing urgent repairs quickly, and being 'unreasonable and argumentative' when pulled up on its failings.

In Sheffield, some roads have now had two or more repairs creating a patchwork that is similar to how they were before Amey took over.

Meanwhile, the work continues.

Unfinished work on Long Line. Amey says: 'Sub-contractor will repair sub-standard work in the near future'.

Richard Pillinger lives on Long Line in Dore which was resurfaced in November.

He says it is already cracking under the weight of vehicles and at the edges. And manhole covers and metalwork have been left exposed.

He said: “It’s sub-standard all the way along. It won’t be long before it’s worse that it was before – and the ironwork has just been left. Someone will come a cropper.”

A Streets Ahead spokeswoman agreed the work was ‘sub-standard’ when contacted by The Star and said it would be repaired in the ‘near future’.

The paper also submitted a list of crumbling roads sent in by readers, with the contractor agreeing to resurface several – within up to 12 months – and inspect others.

Surveyor Martin Nicholson suggested the contract needed to be revisited.

The new executive director of operational services, Ajman Ali, has been urged to hold Amey to account.

He said: “I have noticed how the roads are suddenly crumbling and have potholes. Perhaps the contract needs looking at and if it’s guaranteed for 25 years then some litigation!”

On Twitter, ‘Mark’ said: “Several roads 'microsurfaced' - thin layer of polymer/asphalt over the top, ironworks lifted up to fit. Wearing out now. Would be interested to know if contract demanded proper planing and resurfacing to a certain depth.”

Ed Byard said: “This is what you get when you don't make roads properly. The freeze-thaw cycle is what does the damage. Meanwhile in Austria, where four meters of snow a year is common, you can eat your dinner off their roads.”

Jack Kirby said the centre seam on Greystones Road was crumbling ‘leaving massive holes’ with piles of gravel accumulating at the junction with Bingham Park Road.

James Mason said: “Worral Road, in fact practically all the roads round Hillsborough, Wisewood and Wadsley. A lot of these roads were done round about the Tour de France so they’ve lasted seven years.”

NetherEdgeRes said: “The whole of the Broomhall area: Park Lane done in 2014 and actually now worse than it was in 2012.”

Lib Dem leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said it was ‘disappointing’ and he had spoken to new executive director of operational services, Ajman Ali, about holding Amey to account.

“This £2bn contract was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sort the roads. But we’ve gone from some of the worst in the country - to some of the worst,” he said.

WHAT IS AMEY SAYING?

A Streets Ahead spokeswoman said ‘qualified highways engineers’ decided what type of repair was needed but scheduling depended on the size, scale and type.

She added: “Streets Ahead has a duty to ensure all roads in Sheffield are maintained in a safe condition until repairs or resurfacing is required. As part of the investment and maintenance programme, each road is routinely inspected by expert engineers and should repairs be needed, these are scheduled into our yearly resurfacing programme.

“Many environmental factors can impact road surface conditions, including weather and traffic levels. During winter months particularly, routine maintenance can be impeded by adverse conditions.

“Approximately 1,800 miles of pavement and 916 miles of roads have been resurfaced across Sheffield since the Streets Ahead contract began in 2012.

“Road condition statistics published by the Department for Transport show the percentage of roads requiring repairs in Sheffield is significantly lower than the national average.

“The 2022 annual maintenance programme for resurfacing is currently being finalised and will be available to view online in coming weeks. Any roads not included in this year’s programme will be re-inspected this year to ensure that they remain safe.”

AMEY RESPONSE TO ROADS LIST FROM STAR READERS

To be resurfaced in 2022/23:

ABBEY LANE - ROXTON ROAD TO CHESTERFIELD ROAD

BURTON ROAD - RUTLAND ROAD TO HARVEST LANE

PSALTER LANE - ECCLESALL ROAD TO ROACH ROAD

BLACKSTOCK ROAD – GAUNT WAY TO OVEREND ROAD & BANKWOOD ROAD TO GLEADLESS ROADGREYSTONES ROAD – FROM HIGH STORRS ROAD TO ECCLESALL ROAD

HIGH STORRS ROAD – FROM RINGINGLOW ROAD TO GREYSTONES ROAD

JENKIN ROAD – SANDSTONE ROAD TO TYLER STREET

LODGE LANE – MANCHESTER ROAD TO REDMIRES ROAD

Sub-contractor repair sub-standard work in the near future:

LONG LINE – FROM SHEEPHILL ROAD TO STANDHILL FARM TO HATHERSAGE ROAD

To be inspected shortly:

COLLEGIATE CRESCENT – ECCLESALL ROAD TO PARK LANE

SELBORNE ROAD

SPRINGFIELD ROAD

Due to be reinspected in 2022:

ST ANDREWS ROAD

WOODHOLM ROAD

SPRINGFIELD AVE

WORDSWORTH AVE

WORRAL ROAD

HEAVYGATE ROAD

WALKLEY ROAD

To continue holding the powerful to account and giving people a voice, The Star needs you to subscribe, please

A road crew at Bents Green.
The Amey-SCC contract that deals with a 'cap on liability for latent defects' is redacted.