Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Pedalling Pete

Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Pedalling Pete » 20 Jun 2005, 12:38pm

Cyclists need to watch Real Story to have it explained why their roads are in such a dangerous state. It is largely the failure of cyclists, amongst others, to understand the decision making structure: Your elected Councillors and council employees paid out of your Community Charge are making decisions that result in this Highways scandal of underspent and misspent maintenance budgets.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/real_story/4607181.stm

Pedalling Pete

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Pedalling Pete » 20 Jun 2005, 12:40pm

The link from this forum should be hopefully:
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/real_story/4607181.stm

gar

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby gar » 25 Jun 2005, 10:59am

Pete,
You may well ask why I write so much and the answer is a lethal bollard which the county council refuses to remove although it acts like
a knife on passing cyclists and, by default,
a mped user, me. One permanently broken leg
£30,000 hospital costs and ops; more to come.
Disablity pension.....

Thanks, but remove the bollard, set at the wrong angle to the pavement, rectangular instead of
cylindrical, all wrong, but will not remove because it was put there to discourage gypsies!

g

PS I still use wheels by the way.... a super
wheel chair..

Stilly

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Stilly » 28 Jun 2005, 1:04pm

I watched this episode and not once was there a mention that bad road surfaces have a severe impact (literally) for cyclists. Only 2 weeks ago I complained to the council about a stretch of road that forces cyclists into the middle of the road to avoid potholes and missing road surface. As I was cycling home last Friday I was forced across one of the potholes @ 25mph fracturing the rim of my rear wheel another repair.

The goverment and local councils want us to stop osing the car and use alternative transport but until the road surface is of a suitable standard a lot of people will be put off.

Pedalling Pete

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Pedalling Pete » 29 Jun 2005, 4:22pm

But what the Real Story did show was that the Highways Authority could kill a number of people on a newly surfaced stretch of road without anyone accepting responsibility and closing the road for safety reasons. It took a Police officer to close the road, risking his own position.

Such lack of public accountability is the result of public ignorance and apathy. The situation will persist if cyclists, and others, are not told how to use their rights (which do exist to ensure their safety on the public highway). Cyclists need to deal directly with their elected Councillors and MPs if the local Highways Authority fail to carry out their responsibilities.

The 1980 Highways Act states that there is a duty of care which rests with the local authorities to ensure that all (pavements and) public highways allow safe use by members of the public. They do have available to them a defence under s.58 of the Highways Act 1980: If the local authority can prove that they have in place a safe system of inspection for the area in question, they are exempt from any claims with regard to the specific defect.

It simply needs local monitoring by cyclists to show if the inspection process is effective or not. Failure to respond to complaints of dangerous surfaces would imply a breach of the 1980 Highways Act.

I suppose it's too much to expect the CTC to issue such an information sheet to distribute to all members, and others, in their Cycle magazine?

Stilly

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Stilly » 30 Jun 2005, 10:51am

I have since posted a claim for repairs to Essex County Council along with a CD presentation showing other previously complained about areas along his stretch of road.

The annoying thing is that having told them (the council) that the road surface was defective they still failed to carry out repairs. I know the stretch of road is used in Audax rides by Streatham CC, Comrades CC and Lee Valley CC as they all have their HQ's at Elsenham and at least one of hese clubs must have said something in the past.


Stilly

Happiness is a bike

Pedalling Pete

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby Pedalling Pete » 30 Jun 2005, 3:55pm

Stilly, your complaints that are being ignored were sent to the "organ Grinder's Monkeys" - the Council Highways employees (or worse, their sub-contactors). They are powerless if they have been given inadequate budgets by their political masters - and they are not in a position to either complain themselves, or even agree with your complaints!

To complain, you need to contact the Organ Grinder him/herself - that's your locally elected County Councillor. Ask them, in a letter copied to the media and cycling groups, why the Council, acting as the Highways Authority, is failing in its responsibilities under the 1980 Highways Act!

Only by turning the spotlight on their failures will anything result. If the locally elected politicians have themselves voted to raid the Highways Maintenance Budget, and reallocate funds to Education or Social services (as the Law permits!!) to get themselves reelected, then go to your MP with the facts.

If your MP is of the same political persuasion as the Council, and fails to support your case, then you need to complain to the Ombudsman pointing out that the 1980 Highways Act is being ignored by the political process.

"All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing". If the good cyclists, (and that includes the CTC) continue to do nothing, then the present evil system of Highways Maintenance will continue.

gar

Re:Highways Scandal - BBC1 7pm Monday 20th June

Postby gar » 30 Jun 2005, 5:39pm

As a former Organ Grinder I concur entirely
with Pedalo Pete. Employees jump when it
comes from above.

They will even put it on the agenda at next highways meeting.

I don't find that Whitehall works in quite the same way, bureaucrats being rather contemptuous of MPs, the latter only having a tenure on average of 7 years, whilst the bureaucrats are there for life's work.

Your Pressure/cycle lobby group for change is CTC, an excellent and powerful organisation who are always abreast of projected changes in cycling law/transport matters.

Cheers, Gar