Letter - Don’t get too excited about road repair priority

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‘Road Repairs are a Top Priority Says Wakefield Council’ (Express June 6).

Many will say great, about time, at last the problem is being addressed, but don’t get too excited the article then goes on to state that the council doesn’t have the money and it would take 12 years to carry out all the repairs; during which time the roads will still be deteriorating – some priority!

Having read the article I can’t decide whether it was deliberately meant to be funny or it was just a happy coincidence. It certainly contained some cracking one-liners that made me laugh.

I particularly liked the comment from Ian Thomson that ‘the roads had not got significantly worse since last year’ – maybe if we leave them for another year they might get better on their own.

Then there was the one about how he is now using market prices to cost the repairs rather than the ‘Government Guidance’ on costing, which he previously used, even though he believed the figures to be low.

Firstly who in their right mind believes anything the Government, who are notoriously bad at estimating the cost of anything, tells them and secondly why on earth use figures you believe to be wrong to produce an estimate of costs. It’s bound to come back and bite you on the bum and make you look even more incompetent than everybody already thinks you are.

Even with the revised figures there is a £28m gap between what the council estimates the cost to be and what the Asphalt Industry Alliance predict the actual cost will be.

Given a choice between the council (who’ve already admitted getting the figures wrong) and the AIA (the people who actually do this type of work) I know where I’d put my money.

However it’s not all doom and gloom because the council is creating a new cabinet portfolio to deal with the problem – hurray! But I can’t help thinking that issuing all the cabinet members with a shovel, rake and barrow load of asphalt would be more useful.

The more I think about yet another cabinet member the more the phrase ‘chocolate fireguard’ comes to mind.

Finally Coun Box says ‘We understand from listening to local residents that the state of our roads is a top priority’ – you don’t need to listen to people to know the roads are bad just try driving on them, I dare you! Peter you really should get out more!

Richard Saberton

King Street

Horbury Bridge