Newport local hits out at county council for ‘atrocious’ Whiteditch Lane
PUBLISHED: 08:29 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 22 January 2020
Peter Frost lives on a bendy country lane with limited visibility and no footpath, where there is only room enough for one car, despite it being a two-lane road.
But these are not the only problems that the Whiteditch Lane in Newport is facing.
As a retired surveyor, Peter knows the risks his 'disintegrating' road currently poses.
The road is now home to more people, but he says developers have failed to do the repairs they promised and the county council's road and transport body, Essex Highways, are 'not interested' in resolving the many problems that seem to have all gathered on a small country lane: "There have been a lot of building works. All the builders were going to put money into the road to fix the road. The idea was for the builders to sort it out when they were done but they seem to have forgotten about it. They don't care, they just want to sell their houses and vanish.
"It's been reported a lot of times to Highways, but they are really useless. You get in touch with them and they never get back, never answer our emails, they say 'we are dealing with it', and they come here for a jolly. You mention it to Newport Council and they say they will contact Highways, and that is the end of it. It's like we are stuck at the end of nowhere and no one cares about us."
One of the drain holes has the potential to damage cars and tyres according to Peter - and it is particularly likely to offer an unwanted welcome to new visitors, who do not know about its existence. Those who know it is there, find it hard to forget. Gravel and bricks bits were put in it as a replacement for repairs, and residents put bits that started breaking up back in the drain hole.
Sister drain holes in the middle of the lane hadn't even known attempted repairs, according to Peter: "There used to be a drain hole here and, instead of repairing it, they filled it up with cement. This [other one] is full of mud, in 24 years I have never seen anyone trying to empty this."
Now the water goes further down the road instead of draining there, causing the bendy beginning of the lane to 'freeze like a skate rink', but authorities do not deal with the result either, Peter says: "We asked for that [grit] bin to be put because when it freezes we have to deal with it.
"My neighbours and I have put some mirrors to help [with the low visibility], because Highways wouldn't do it."
Two of Peter's neighbours have crashed into each other a few years ago because they couldn't see each other. A multifold traffic increase caused by new developments, unsuitable speeds, and children running up the problematic road are only some of the resident's concerns: "It's getting to a point where if someone doesn't do something, there is going to be a big accident."
He says the road has begun humping, as well as caving in and breaking up, despite some of it having only been repaired in October 2019.
"It was all nice and straight before," he said, adding: "I come out with my horse box every week. I only catch a sharp edge and the tyre is gone."
A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: "Whiteditch Lane is a no-through road, classed as a byway and so is only maintained to the appropriate standard as a public right of way. Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding has led a forum involving the developers of houses in the area, local residents, Essex Highways, and Uttlesford District Council to try to establish a resolution to these issues."