The city’s pothole-ridden road network will put off new businesses joining the city, claim Conservative councillors.
A motion from the Tory group is calling on Cardiff council to pump more money into bringing the capital’s roads up to standard.
Leader of the Conservative group David Walker said the city’s road network was crucial for attracting investment.
He said: “Companies who come to Cardiff will form an impression of how the council looks after the city. If they see its untidy and the roads are not looked after they may not invest here. One of the things companies expect is a good road network.”
The savage winter has been blamed by many for the increase in potholes, particularly in the North of the city and councillors claim the repairs just aren’t good enough.
Pentyrch councillor Craig Williams, who is tabling the motion, said: “The repairs they do on the roads are a joke, after a month or two they’re back having to re-do the same stretch of road. In a place like here the only way to get around is by car.
“This is the number one problem I’m hearing from people, and it’s not just in Pentyrch. Everywhere people are unhappy with the state of the roads and making that known to the council.”
The motion demands the council put more money into the repair pot, and blasts the administration for ignoring a Tory budget amendment which would have seen an extra £1.5m invested this year.
The Labour group are currently deciding whether to support the motion, and warned about quick fixes.
Labour group spokeswoman Cerys Furlong said: “Short term fixes to the problem of potholes all too often don’t work. In my own ward of Canton we have had to request that the same streets are addressed repeatedly. This is surely not cost effective?
“In January the Labour Local Government Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government, Carl Sargeant announced £7million of extra funding for councils to address the problem of potholes. The Labour group would like the council to make clear how they have spent the £677,068 allocated to Cardiff Council, by WAG to improve the situation across the city.”
The council has recently come under-fire from Westminster politicians for not fixing potholes fast enough, Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan was featured last week with an unrepaired pothole in Ely.
Bus services have also been affected by the poor state of the city’s roads, with Cardiff Bus calling for Westgate Street to receive special attention.
A spokeswoman for Cardiff Bus said: “There is a particular problem in Westgate Street – not so much in terms of potholes but with the road having literally become ‘worn out’. We and other bus operators have been working with the council on plans for an upgrading of the Westgate Street infrastructure including the road itself, which are being considered alongside the wider development plans for the bus station.
“Cardiff Bus is, like everyone else, affected by the current pothole situation. From our perspective, the council responds promptly to reports of potholes on main bus routes with temporary repairs, and as the weather now improves we understand that more permanent solutions will start to be employed in the worst affected areas.”
Cardiff council say they are currently experimenting with a new way of mending potholes.
A council spokeswoman said: “A new system has been successfully trialled tackling ward by ward the worst hit streets and has been well received. We are also continuing to carry out emergency repairs.
“The new process involves cutting out all areas of damage around a pothole, filling with tarmacadam and sealing the joints which makes for a more permanent solution for pothole repair, the scheme has been rolled out in several areas and concentrates on potholes and minor patches.
“It involves the excavation of defective material, squaring of the hole, installation with new material and sealing.”
The council said they are investigating making further funds available for longer-term solutions to the major fabric of roads in the city.
The motion in full
Council expresses deep concern about the appalling state of the surfaces of Cardiff’s roads which deteriorated further during the winter of 2010/11 noting that some roads received temporary repairs, often of poor quality, when complete resurfacing was required.
Councillors should also be conscious of the reputational damage that may be caused by the state of the city’s roads at a time when the Cardiff is seeking to attract inward investment
Council further condemns the administration’s decision to oppose a Conservative budget amendment which would have added £1.5m to the road repair budget. This further investment could have made a significant and positive impact on the state of our roads.
Council therefore calls upon the Executive to bring forward new proposals to the June 2011 Council Meeting to bring the city’s roads up to the standard required of a European Capital City.
How to report a pothole
If you’re annoyed about a pothole on your street or in your area there’s a number of ways to report it and get it fixed.
The first is by phoning Cardiff council direct and using their Connect 2 Cardiff service. Call 02920 87 2087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Cardiff council, County Hall, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff, CF10 4UW.
There are also websites dedicated to people reporting potholes and problems with their areas, and showing in public whether the council are responding or not. Fixmystreet allows you to pin-point the exact location of the pothole and post updates on whether it has been fixed or not. Fillthathole is a website dedicated to potholes and reporting them, it also rates local authorities on their ability to fix potholes.
If you spot any gigantic potholes or ones which are extremely dangerous, let us know at yourCardiff and send in your photos to email@example.com. Also let us know your comments about potholes and the state of the city’s roads in the comments below