Why can’t the council sort them potholes out?

The road surface at Tower Way off St Peter's Place, Canterbury

Today Canterbury City Council has been forced to tell its more than 6,000 Facebook followers that it’s not responsible for patching up craters in roads.

All too often, it seems, people think getting on to the council means Canterbury when in fact there’s a great big behemoth of a local authority based in Maidstone’s County Hall.

As Neil Baker pointed out in these pages last month, it’s an easy mistake to make – especially when it’s Canterbury that collects your taxes.

That’s what prompted Canterbury to today point out that it’s Kent that maintains the roads.

It said: “We are getting lots of comments and complaints about potholes at the moment. Unfortunately, we cannot do anything about this, because Kent County Council is responsible for roads.”

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield speaking in the House of Commons

Except, there is another exception here that we have to accept.

The major roads – some of the A2, the M2, M20, and the glorious M25 – are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

And then wider and wider the rings of bureaucracy extend. In addition to city and county councillors, we have an MP in Rosie Duffield.

Again, some people Labour (geddit???) under the misapprehension that Ms Duffield can steam into County Hall or the poo brown fortress in Military Road and order the underlings there to do her bidding.

She can’t. MPs aren’t magicians or feudal overlords.

They’re our elected representatives in Parliament. Ms Duffield can of course apply pressure or take up a case on behalf of someone in difficulty, but these things are often an issue only the relevant authority can sort out.

We started this talking about potholes. Now, can someone tell me why Tower Way in Canterbury (pictured above) above hasn’t been relieved of its winter-long acne of potholes?

If only I could remember who was responsible for it again…


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