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Resurfacing work 'a waste of money'

PUBLISHED: 19:32 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 02 June 2010

Residents on a Watton estate have slammed Norfolk County Council for spending over £100,000 on surfacing footpaths which cracked up as soon as road workers left the site.

Residents on a Watton estate have slammed Norfolk County Council for spending over £100,000 on surfacing footpaths which cracked up as soon as road workers left the site.

Families living on Wayland Avenue and neighbouring lanes are furious at the “shabby” repairs, claiming the resurfacing was completely unnecessary as the roads were in better condition before the works started.

They are also concerned about safety hazards, insisting the surface is too uneven to allow rainwater to dry up.

“There are puddles everywhere when it rains,” says George Smith, one of the residents.

“If we have frosty mornings everything turns into an ice rink. It's dreadful. They spent over £100,000 for nothing. The footpaths really didn't need any surfacing. This is shabby workmanship. The tarmac cracked up almost immediately after they finished surfacing the paths. This is all because they rushed it and didn't bother to put any solid material underneath,” he added.

Mr Smith said workers spent almost seven weeks on the estate, completing the surfacing at the end of February.

Further up the road, Sheena Bayliss is also disappointed with the work.

She says road workers did a “poor job” reinstating the grass verges which now look like “trenches.”

“They should have either got rid of them [of the grass verges] or skimmed them to a level with the surface,” she explains.

“The grass was perfectly fine before they came in. It was my pride and joy to go out and cut it regularly. It's a mess now. The soil looks like trenches.”

She says whenever buses and lorries turn into Wayland Avenue, they drive over the grass as there is not enough space to allow any manoeuvring.

“The grass is completely rutted where buses turn in. I complained to Norfolk County Council and they sent a worker to have a look. “They skimmed the soil in front of my house, but left the rest,” she says.

Watton Mayor Keith Gilbert says the surfacing work should not have been carried out in the first place.

“It's a waste of money. If they decided to spend over £100,000 on unnecessary work, at least they should have done it properly,” he says.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the council had received a complaint from one of the residents about the grass verges, but insisted that no one else had approached the authority on other related matters.

“We did have a complaint some time ago but we haven't received any reports of any significant problems since and are therefore not aware of any particular problems. We'll carry out an inspection over the next few days,” he said.

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