Clegg angry at Sheffield pothole delays

Nick Clegg and Joe Otten look at the potholes on Devonshire Road, Dore. Picture: Andrew Roe
Nick Clegg and Joe Otten look at the potholes on Devonshire Road, Dore. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Repair works to more than 40 pothole-ridden areas in Sheffield have had their start dates delayed – by up to nine months.

The original dates when Sheffield Council contractor Amey was to begin resurfacing zones of roads in the £2 billion Streets Ahead project have been revealed thanks to a Freedom of Information request.

Work is to be delayed in 43 zones including Upperthorpe, Gleadless, Penistone Road and Norfolk Park.

One zone in Dore had a start date of June but the work will not now take place until February 2016.

Work in Totley, Sharrow and Brightside has also been set back by eight months.

Another 20 areas have had the work brought forward – including Bradfield, Gleadless, Woodhouse, Southey, and Darnall.

Streets Ahead says start dates were provisional and changes made for operational reasons.

Work in Stocksbridge was brought forward because of the poor condition of the roads. In other areas, utility companies wanted to complete planned work earlier to prevent resurfaced roads from being dug up again.

A Streets Ahead spokesman added: “We have a huge task to carry out and all works need to be co-ordinated with many others, such as tram track replacements and university development in a way that does not bring the city to a standstill.

“As a result some proposed indicative dates have moved by a few days or a few months.

“This is to be expected in projects of this size and complexity. Adjustments are determined purely on an operational basis.”

But Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Sheffield Hallam, has claimed the Labour-run council is giving ‘preferential treatment’ to other areas as ten zones in which work has been pushed back are in his constituency.

Two zones in Hallam have had work brought forward, but Mr Clegg said 83 per cent of the area’s changes were delayed, compared to 63 per cent in the rest of the city.

He said: “I’m really quite annoyed on behalf of everyone in west Sheffield because for years and years we’ve had to put up with some of the most terrible roads of any major city in the country, some would just be an embarrassment. I was so chuffed when I was able to get £1.2 billion to contribute towards the £2 billion cost - the council has taken that money and makes sure Labour favoured areas get the money and the work done first.”

Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for Streetscene, added: “This is a complete fairytale, there is absolutely no evidence to back these claims up.

“One of the first zones we started was in Totley, Sheffield Hallam.”