Footways are an essential part of our infrastructure that enable people to walk safely from one place to another. However, over time, footways can become damaged and develop surface defects such as cracks, potholes, and uneven surfaces. These defects can make footways unsafe and potentially hazardous for pedestrians, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
To address these issues, local authorities often undertake footway repairs to fix surface defects and ensure the safety of pedestrians. According to the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance, local authorities should regularly inspect footways and prioritise repairs based on the severity of the defects and the level of footway usage. These repairs can range from simple patching to more extensive resurfacing work, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.
However, resurfacing footways in full can be a costly and time-consuming process. It requires significant resources, including labour, materials, and equipment, and can cause disruption to traffic and pedestrians in the area. Therefore, local authorities need to carefully consider the cost and benefits of resurfacing footways in full, especially when there are many footways to repair.
In the case of Patch Lane and Paddock Lane, the local authority has undertaken some repairs to fix the steps and other surface defects. While these repairs may not look great, they have achieved the primary goal of making the footways safe for people to use. Moreover, these repairs were done at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.
However, the local authority acknowledges that a longer-term approach is needed for these streets. Officers are looking at what they can do to resurface these streets in the future, but this will be a significant challenge given the large number of footways in the area. Therefore, careful consideration is required to ensure that the resources are used efficiently and effectively to provide a safe and usable footway network for everyone, in line with the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance.