Friday, 27 May 2011

Woeful Roads

I cycled into central Belfast this morning, via Mersey Street and the very wide Sydenham Road, which passes the Odyssey complex.

Parking at Fountain Street, I went in to the Linenhall Library in order to undertake a spot of research.

Some - no, many - of Belfast's roads are an utter disgrace: uneven surfaces, pot-holes, sunken trenches; a virtual patch-work quilt of shoddy repairs over decades.

BP (Big Pete) was criticizing Ravenhill Road yesterday.

Mersey Street is a prime example. When one complains to the authority (they call themselves the Roads Service), they often remind you that "inspectors" routinely visit the carriageways. What sort of standards do these people have? I suggest they get on their bikes and try to ride along Mersey Street.

It is spurious and disingenuous to dismiss complaints by claiming that the roads are inspected, to my mind. Quite absurd.

They spent a fortune on paving the city centre and, I noticed today, some utility company has already excavated a big hole at Castle Lane. God help us if the roads disservice sends the same inspector to examine that!


John Self said...

I can tell you exactly what standards they have. They only fix defects which comprise a 20mm or greater vertical tripping edge - usually misaligned paving stones and the like. This is not to ensure safety or comfort for pedestrians or cyclists but to prevent them from being successfully sued! Wearing away of the road surface, and even some notable potholes, are usually ignored because they do not match their specific requirements. However if someone reports a significant defect to them, they *should* fix it even if it doesn't match their conditions. Otherwise they are laying themselves open to litigation if someone does come to be injured on it.

Timothy Belmont said...

I suspected as much: inadequate standards for a public service; not really acceptable!

Has anyone noticed how some "Gypsy" contractors compensate for sunken trenches by doing the opposite and making mini ramps which one bumps over!