Update from the Parish Council on pot holes

The issue

The maintenance of roads in the Trafford area has been contracted out to Amey, an infrastructure support service provider and are therefore governed by contractual service levels.

The Parish Council is very aware of the concerns raised by local residents regarding the poor state of repair of the roads, specifically potholes, in the Dunham Massey area.

Charcoal Road is one of the roads that has been identified as particularly bad but there are others in similar state of disrepair including Sinderland Lane and Black Moss Road.

Apart from the obvious rough ride this creates and the potential damage to tyres and suspension, there is the danger to other road users as people feel the need to swerve to avoid them.

Despite residents and the Parish Council raising these issues with Trafford, there is a growing sense of frustration that Trafford Council/Amey is failing to act to resolve them or even acknowledge that there are issues with the road surfaces.

What we have been doing and what we know

I have personally raised the issue of potholes with Trafford Council both through their online portal on the Trafford website and directly with the Trafford Partnership Team for highways.

I understand that some residents have also raised issues and received a response indicating that: “When investigated, the problem you reported did not require action as it does not meet our criteria”.

I have challenged Trafford and Amey to provide more detail about the criteria they are using and they have sent a copy of their Highways Inspection documents and highway Safety Inspection Procedure, both of which I can email to anybody if you want to review in detail.

Despite having provided many photographs and measurements of potholes on Charcoal Road, the response from the operation controller was:

Having recently inspected the carriageway, the highway inspector has confirmed that there are issues with the profile of the road, meaning that it is not aesthetically pleasing, but it is the top surface stripping, and this degradation would not be classified as an actionable defect in accordance with the Council's Highway Safety Policy.

Trafford Council has adopted an asset management approach to maintaining its network, in accordance with the Department for Transport (DfT) and industry best practice and guidance, to deliver a Highway Capital Programme of Works. This process is extensive, thorough, and robust, but, as I am sure you can appreciate, demand often exceeds available funding.

As a result, Charcoal Road has not been included on the 2023–24 Highways Capital Programme for surface treatment or more extensive resurfacing works. I appreciate that this may be frustrating to hear; however, please be assured that every effort is made to ensure that the roads selected for work make the best use of our allocated resources.

Having reviewed the information provided by Trafford it would appear that:

  1. The highway documents indicate that if the pothole is less than 50mm deep it is not deemed a requirement for immediate attention. However, we have checked this against the website and confirmed with Trafford that upon inspection, any carriageway defects with leading edges greater than 40mm will be raised for repair.
  2. There does not appear to be any major resurfacing work scheduled for Charcoal Road in the 23/24 budget. This is a complete list for the Trafford highway improvement programme for 2023–24.

Point 2. has been raised with our local Trafford councillor who has indicated that there could be some smaller scale work being carried out in the area but we have not yet had confirmation of this.

What we can do next

As with many local councils, funding for any capital programs is limited and therefore this will have an impact on road maintenance. We don’t anticipate a quick resolution however:

  • We will continue to push Trafford and Amey to do something to address the poor state of repair of our roads with a continued focus of Charcoal Road.
  • We have escalated this with Trafford and the highways inspector with a view to getting a face-to-face meeting to discuss and await confirmation of a date.
  • Given the is a significant volume of traffic on Charcoal Road which is bound for the National Trust site at Dunham Park, we will be raising the issue with them to ensure they are supporting us as much as possible.

We would also encourage as many residents as possible to raise the issues through the Trafford Website and escalate this where you get the opportunity using this link:

Raise the issue through the Trafford Website

We are sure letters to the Trafford Borough Councillors or even our local MP wouldn’t go a miss.

If you do have any information that you think would help then send an email to rather than through social media channels.

Thank you

Dave Jolley

On behalf of Dunham Massey Parish Council