Residents "short-changed" by "shoddy" road resurfacing

A section of the road on Thorpe House Rise, Norton Lees
A section of the road on Thorpe House Rise, Norton Lees
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A number of residents in Graves Park ward were the latest to speak out about “botch job” road resurfacing carried out as part of a city-wide scheme to repair roads.

Loose chippings, unfinished work and dug up roads barring paths are just some of the issues pointed out by residents in a spate of complaints across the city.

Some chippings left on a path in Norton Lees

Some chippings left on a path in Norton Lees

But those living near Graves Park feel they are being even more “short changed” than elsewhere.

Councillor Steve Ayris, Graves Park ward, said he had recently spoken to a large number of residents in his area who have highlighted issues with the work.

He said: “I’ve taken a look at the roads around the area and can see why residents feel they have been short-changed. Quite rightly, residents are demanding better for our area.

“We are hoping to arrange a meeting between local councillors and the Streets Ahead asset and programme manager, along with the local Amey Community Steward to thrash out these issues, and where necessary, call for the work to be re-done.”

Broken path left by contractors in Norton Lees

Broken path left by contractors in Norton Lees

Coun Ayris said most of the complaints were due to the use of thin micro-surfacing treatment.

He said as this is the cheapest option, and as some of the last roads to be resurfaced, he suspected residents in the area had been short-changed.

A document provided by council officers showed 18 roads in the neighbourhood had been marked for micro-surfacing.

This included Warminster Place which was branded “hazardous” by residents earlier this week after resurfacing had taken place.

Coun Ayris said one resident described the work on Warminster Place as “a dog’s dinner”.

Amey said: “As a result of a recent survey across roads in Sheffield, Warminster Place was identified as a road which was in reasonable condition but would benefit from the application of a new micro asphalt surface.

“The new surface will extend the life of the road by sealing out water and creating a new top layer, which can take a few weeks to settle down and may look uneven during the initial period.”

But Coun Ayris said there have been similar complaints about the thin surface treatment elsewhere in the ward including Mount View Road and Harvey Clough Road.

Residents said because the road had not been resurfaced in more than 30 years, so had severe potholes and patches, the micro-surfacing treatment was “sub-standard” and a waste of money.

Most recently, another resident, Daniel Oldfield, from Thorpe House Rise, Norton Less, said his neighbours were blocked by dug up paths for more than a week.

He also said the area had been left with loose chippings and missing pieces of tarmac which cause confusion about whether the work was finished or not.

Mr Oldfield said: “The paths were dug up and left for 10 days, one of which is immediately outside the property of a young disabled girl who uses a wheelchair and other sections where many parents have to push prams.

“Quite frankly it’s laughable. It’s a waste of taxpayers money and quite frankly it needs doing again already. Can Sheffield City Council honestly tell me that this is value for money?”

Amey said each road is determined by experienced designers during on-site inspections and explained the process can be quite long and require multiple visits before completion.

Nick Hetherington, Streets Ahead network asset manager, said: “The process for micro-surfacing is to first lay the surface after which the white lines are repainted for safety reasons.

“Ironworks in the road such as manholes are lifted and once the surface has bedded in, which can take a number of weeks, we return to carry out any remedial works that are needed.

“Regarding the footpaths being dug up and left for 10 days, the top surface may have been planed off prior to being followed around by the surfacing teams who will lay the final surface.”

He added that they will now inspect this road to make sure this is the case and make repairs if necessary.

The work is being carried out as part of Sheffield City Council’s 25-year contract with PFI contractor Amey, which includes resurfacing roads.