Community leaders are calling for more action and less automated emails when it comes to highways issues. Cheadle councillor Ray Wood has received such an automated email for an enquiry regarding a pothole in Charles Street, which he made over three years ago.
Community leaders are calling for more action and less automated emails when it comes to highways issues.
Cheadle councillor Ray Wood has received such an automated email for an enquiry regarding a pothole in Charles Street, which he made over three years ago.
Within the email, the Highways Team at Staffordshire County Council stated: “This is an update to your enquiry dated 02/05/2018 in relation to Charles Street.
“We have not yet been able to coordinate resources to resolve the enquiry you raised, owing to high demand for reactive maintenance work across our road network.
“We write to assure you that we have not forgotten about the issue however and will endeavour to schedule the necessary works as soon as is practicably possible.
“In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the issue by way of our routine safety inspections which take place monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on the road classification.
“If we identify that the problem has worsened we may reprioritise the repair works accordingly, alternatively if you believe the defect now poses an imminent risk to safety we would kindly ask that you report the issue again via www.staffordshire.gov.uk/reportit.”
Cllr Wood told the Times & Echo: “It’s taken over three years for them to respond and yet there’s nothing really in their response.
“And this is a reply to an elected councillor too.
“I think it’s just amusing. People are complaining about potholes, but three years later, still nothing is getting done.
“It’s incompetence. The county council are always asking for people to report potholes but then we are waiting three years for a response like this.”
Meanwhile, councillor Gary Bentley has also received such an automated response – a year after he made an enquiry about another highways issue in Cheadle.
He received the email for an enquiry he had made in August last year for “a link footway at rear of house number 35.”
Cllr Bentley said: “To be honest, I send so many in, I can’t remember where this one was for, and it was that long ago.
“It looks like they have just sent out automated responses. The thing is you can’t even reply to the automated emails and so can not ask any further questions. It’s a farce.”
The Times & Echo contacted Staffordshire County Council about the automated responses. David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at the local authority, said: “ We are constantly looking at how to improve communications with people who have raised concerns about highways issues.
“We have recently introduced an update email to assure people that works will be scheduled to address their report as soon as resources allow.
“There is a high demand for highway maintenance activities across our road network and urgent repairs are completed within a matter of days.
“Non-urgent repairs are scheduled as efficiently as possible but are likely to take longer and it is important that people are kept informed about the progress of their report.
“In the meantime, highways teams do carry out routine safety inspections to identify if any reported issues have worsened with repair works being re-prioritised as necessary.”
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