Surrey residents obliged to repair potholes on Olympic RouteShareThis
Surrey County Council is intending to invoke emergency powers last used in WW2 to oblige residents to repair potholes along the Olympic Road Race Route.
The route, which we reported in February, passes along 130 miles of Surrey lanes that have suffered from huge underinvestment following two brutal winters. The poor quality of the roads in Surrey is well known to cyclists. However, it turns out that the County Council do not have sufficient funds to repair the route in time for the 2012 Olympics and will receive no financial aid from LOCOG.
Wartime legislation invoked
Local councillors recognise that the Chancellor’s recent UK-wide “pot-hole fund” of £100 million is a “drop in the ocean” for a £10bn problem. As a result they are seeking to use an obscure law, passed in 1940 to get people to contribute to the war effort, which has not been revoked by Parliament, to oblige residents of Surrey to repair the roads themselves.
It is understood that the County Council were pleased with the choice of Surrey to hold the Olympic Road Race but upset with the specific roads chosen. One source at the council told us that he thought it absurd the Olympic committee chose such random back roads for the route, which suffer from extreme pot-holes, when the A3 motorway is in excellent condition.
ARS to campaign hard
A residents’ group opposed to the County Council’s plans, called the Association for Residents’ of Surrey (ARS), has been set up and promises to campaign hard against the “unreasonably onerous” actions of the council and improper use of wartime legislation.
ARS have offered a compromise where residents commit to stand in the potholes during the Olympic Road Races waving flags to warn oncoming riders of the dangers ahead. They pledge to seek judicial review unless a compromise can be reached.