Blame over pothole ridden roads is ‘50/50 between contractors and council’

Potholes in Oxford Road, Aylesbury
Potholes in Oxford Road, Aylesbury

The decision to continue working with the firm who carried out ‘shortsighted’ repairs on the Vale’s pothole-ridden roads was not taken lightly according to council chiefs.

Contractor Ringway Jacobs is paid £30 million a year by Bucks County Council.

But a report in January slammed the arrangement, saying the council does not have the resources to make sure the firm is doing a good job, and that much of the work is shortsighted.

The results of a council investigation into whether the taxpayer is getting value for money was discussed last week by the environment, transport and locality services scrutiny committee.

The report said that the decision to continue working with Ringway Jacobs had
not been taken lightly, and that the firm had shown a willingness to improve on past mistakes.

It said: “The decision was made to continue working with Ringway Jacobs.

“This decision was not taken lightly; it was made because of the determination and the encouragement Ringway Jacobs showed the local authority that they wanted to make the contract work.

“Both the client and the contractor recognised the failings and that the contract didn’t work as well as it could have.”

Since the failings were highlighted the council says that it has worked with the firm to change how it operates across the county.

This includes establishing a service which is broken down into depots and a new site has been established in Amersham.

The report says: “Each depot has its own supervisor and manager and has been tasked with looking at how they can become effective and efficient, how savings can be made, and how money can be brought back into the service.”

At the meeting cabinet member for transport Ruth Vigor Hedderly said that there was a 50/50 split when it came to blame over the failure of the contract.