AN article appeared in last week’s Standard concerning the numerous defects on the county’s roads.

Almost everyone who uses the highway network regularly will be aware of the problem which seems to be getting worse every passing year.

Predictably, a spokesperson from the highways issued a rather confusing response by saying they can’t know about every pothole out there, after informing us their inspectors are out daily and their crews work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I don’t hold the highways department solely responsible for the condition of the highway.

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While most roads are so congested throughout the working day now, even a comparatively simple repair must be accessed then scheduled and follow strict government regulations, as only a defect judged to be so unsafe can now be repaired immediately.

A few years ago, before local authorities decided centralised call centres were a good idea, a member of the public could phone through to a local highway depot, pointing out a defect in the road, usually something they have just driven or tripped over, if appropriate the manager would radio to a local crew in or near that area, or simply just send one to carry out a temporary repair.

Hopefully it would be recorded and go on a maintenance list.

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Now fast forward 30-odd years.

Ever-increasing amounts of traffic along with health and safety and the constant threat of litigation must be considered.

As a working area on the road, no matter how small, must comply with the latest guidelines set out by the Department for Transport or it will be classified as an illegal site.

And if the required standards are not met, could leave the authority open to a claim.

Somebody from highways at County Hall needs to acknowledge and accept there is a substantial maintenance issue with our current road network and work out a way of activating a workable maintenance programme, then at least the defects they know about can be at least temporary repaired.

Hopefully motorists and pedestrians will then start to notice an improvement.

Robbie Green

Fambridge Road, Maldon