REPORTS of tyres being “blown up” on Farnham’s “third-world” roads have prompted an outcry for action on potholes.
It comes after weeks of torrential rain and lower temperatures left roads at a heightened risk to damage – with 34 reports of potholes and sunken manhole covers made to fixmystreet.com since December 3.
And hopes for a quick fix were washed away at the Waverley Local Committee, when highways area manager Frank Apicella said it would be “crazy” to start resurfacing the whole of central Farnham, ahead of plans to reconfigure the town centre’s road layout.
Mr Apicella’s response came after Barry Hartop, a Castle Street resident, spoke to the committee, describing central Farnham as a “third-world infrastructure”.
He said: “The town desperately needs highways investment and resurfaced roads to fill the countless poor surface repairs.”
The council said it recognised the street scene is expected to change once plans for The Borough are revealed.
But Mr Apicella assured Mr Hartop that in locations that are known to be “very bad”, the highways team would carry out work, as well as in areas “where we know the future will not change that part of the street scene as much as others”.
Cllr Stephen Spence also promised roads were “constantly being discussed” but it had been “challenging because of funding shortages”.
The Farnham Residents councillor also disclosed a special Farnham-only meeting to discuss the growing frustration on the roads was set to take place in February.
He said it was an opportunity to address delays and inconsistencies on repairs and maintenance.
Tory councillor Wyatt Ramsdale also urged residents to remember highways staff and contractors also take Christmas and new-year holidays – and that he expected many temporary repairs would be replaced when there was “more time and better weather”.
A spokesperson for Surrey County Council recognised having some of the country’s busiest roads would “naturally take its toll”. “But we are working incredibly hard to improve Surrey’s roads,” they added.
“This is reflected in the additional funding we have put into resurfacing and maintaining our roads, which so far has seen hundreds of miles of improvements delivered across the county.
“Since 2018 we have carried out over 8km of planned road maintenance works in Farnham, and we continue to have crews working day and night to ensure roads are up to standard.”