A highways chief has admitted more money is need to carry out a full repair of a main road between Lichfield and Burntwood.

Drivers had criticised Staffordshire County Council after resurfacing work left the carriageway on the A5190 from Pipehill with a scored appearance.

Cllr Helen Fisher, Cabinet member for highways and transport, told Lichfield Live the county council would be assessing the quality of the finish.

Helen Fisher

But in an email to a resident who raised concerns directly, she admitted the cost of a full repair was beyond the authority’s means at the present time.

“The council has previously identified the A5190 Lichfield Road from the Stockhay Lane junction to near the Broad Lane junction for treatment in its forward programme,” Cllr Fisher said in an email seen by Lichfield Live.

“The road needs significant investment to renew its structure. This was last priced at £1.3million to remove the existing tarmac and relay new tarmac.

“Unfortunately current funding levels do not enable these works to be carried out.”

Cllr Fisher said the work carried out was a common way of extending the life of carriageways.

“The council has addressed the condition of the road surface through a long-established surface dressing method,” she said. “This involves repairing the potholes on the road before laying a new thin layer of ‘tarmac’ on top.

The resurfaced A5190 with new road markings painted

“Surface dressing waterproofs the existing road surface, which helps to reduce – but not stop – the formation of potholes, and it improves the grip of the road surface.

“It is a widely used and recognised method of extending the life of a road and improving its grip.

“The road has been driven by highway officers and no significant issues have been identified in terms of the road surface quality or with the ironwork.

“The council has a two-year guarantee provided by the contractors who have carried out the surface dressing and should any remedial work be identified, it will be put right at their cost.”

“Challenging decisions”

Some of the concerns raised by road users include the potential for cyclists to get caught in the grooves on the new surface.

Cllr Fisher added: “I do appreciate that any texture present on the new road surface would be felt more keenly on a road bike.

“I would like to assure you that the road is inspected every month by highway inspectors and should any issues be identified they will be addressed as resources allow.

“The council has to make challenging decisions on how best to maintain its 6,000 kilometre highway network across Staffordshire, while facing increases in demand in providing vital services for vulnerable children and adults, as well as the many other services it delivers.

“I hope that you can understand the decisions made on road maintenance against this backdrop.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

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16 Comments

  1. Like many, I really, honestly thought this was a temporary road surface.

    If you’re a visitor to our area and you’re sitting at the Pipehill roundabout..

    – Do you choose to take the polished, perfect road into Lichfield?
    – Or the rough, bumpy, rubbish 50mph stretch of road to Burntwood?

    The “Welcome to Burntwood” sign needs to be changed to read, “Sorry about that, Staffordshire County Council are skint. Maybe get yourself a 4×4?”

    This splodgy surface meets a “standard” because the standards have been lowered just to keep budgets in trim. Travelling at 50mph in a car on this road, especially with thin tyres feels like you’re a needle on a record. Pedalling on it is a very similar adventure, only with added “squeeky bum time” when you’re “auto-steered” towards the kerb.

    Personally I think the council were betting on this being paid for by housing developers many years ago (when houses on land near Farewell Lane were being planned), so they didn’t invest properly and let the problems stack up until it got to this point.

    The audacity of certain political leaders to say that austerity is over or that we’ll have vast pots of money coming in soon are constant lies. The reality on the groovy-ground is that residents / drivers / cyclists / pedestrians are being told to just “expect” lower quality workmanship from all council departments.

    Hot tar, a few chippings and a quick “wibbly wobbly” rake is not safe on a 50mph A-road. It won’t be fixed until a certain amount of people have had fatal crashes on it.

  2. Why is more money needed for repairs if it’s still under guarantee and the firm will cover all costs? I’m confused! The surface of this road wears out tyres far more quickly than one of a smoother finish, but gives less contact with the road. Hmm, winter ice will be interesting. The council has enough money, just chooses to spend it elsewhere. Burntwood has always suffered with poor roads, the island at Sankeys going towards Morrisons literally has a split in it which causes cars to lose control. How is that safe? SCC take enough council tax to cater for roads, so stop giving out member expenses and deal with it.

  3. Could they spare a fiver to fix the dangerous sink hole outside no 61 Oakdene Road which was reported in August before someone gets seriously injured?

  4. It’s a shame this isn’t a national issue.

    If it was you could try and bring it up with the local MP, when he is looking for your vote.

  5. What’s the road going to be like after winter, will probably be in need of repair again, so why not do it right in the 1st place. Surely it would save money in the long run.
    Get the Japanese in, look what they repaired in a week.

  6. Hedwig the contractor has done it to council specifications the council get what they paid for. SCC and LDC could not run a p up in a brewery and our yellow wigged MP will not help. Been a Tory all my life but we need a change of SCC and LDC and definitely our useless Tory MP

  7. Lame excuses it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to admit the work was not up to standard as far as surface dressing goes. It lacks a consistent surface therefore substandard for this method of road repair. The contract should be called back to redo the work to bring the surface upto a consistent finish.

  8. Why then are so many of the iron works still sunken and have to be avoided which makes for dangerous driving!!

  9. What happens to the money that rate payers pay in Burntwood it is not spent on the town now and has never been

  10. I drove this last night in heavy rain.
    Because of grooves carved into the road surface, the wheel tyre tread tracks those grooves giving a strange steering feedback, the road also holds alot of rainwater, compared with the flat tarmac past Pipehill roundabout.
    Combined, it makes for a very uncomfortable drive, especially at night on this unlit road, When it starts to freeze, this road is going to be to dangerous.

  11. Remember this on December 12! National austerity measures deprived the council of funds, increasing demands for social care for an aging population leave less money to pay for anything else.
    Vote for the yellow wig and you’ll get more of this

  12. I road along on my motorbike it’s dangerous
    Shocking councilers should be ashamed of the state of this road
    Absolute disgrace
    DISSAPPOINTED TAXPAYER
    WHY AM I SURPRISED ?????
    BECAUSE IT GOES TO BURNTWOOD ???
    SECOND CLASS CITIZENS TO LICHFIELD AGAIN
    ????
    PROOVE ME WRONG AND FIX IT ?????

  13. The road from burntwood to lichfield is very dangerous drive on my car this morning on my way work skidded and my friends car who have ever done work have definitely took piss its really bad work something needs be done fast

  14. I drive this road 7 days a week ,twice a day ,the groves do at time grip the steering .
    If the council knew they hadn’t enough to do a comprehensive repair why on earth use tax payers money to make the road in my opinion more dangerous .

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