Ealing and Northfield

Keeping up the roads

This weekend I have travelled on two of Ealing’s worst roads.

On Saturday we were canvassing on Montague Road in Hanwell. Many of the residents were complaining about it quite rightly. I was able to explain to them that the new Conservative administration has spent twice as much in a third of the time as Labour did on road resurfacing capital projects (Labour liked to spend your money on making Perceval House nice and buying the freehold). We have allocated £25.5 million on roads in 4 years. Labour spent about £12 million in 12 years the picture below tells the story. This is though no consolation if it is not your road getting done.

Today I used Elderberry Road in Ealing Common ward. Another atrocious road. We have spent £19 million in the last three years so it shows you how badly things were left to slide if after that investment there are still roads like Montague and Elderberry.

On Tuesday the Cabinet will sign off another £6.5 million of spending in the 2010/11 financial year, see papers here, Item 21.

The good news is that both Montague and Elderberry will be resurfaced in the next financial year which starts in April. £60K for Montague and £83K for Elderberry.

I was glad to see though that as bad as these two roads are they have both been extensively patched in recent days to keep up with the damage caused by the recent bad weather.

The good news for Northfield ward is that another eight of our roads will be done with a further two on the reserve list (if they don’t make it next year they will almost certainly make it the year after).

Balmoral Gardens
Blondin Avenue
Cardiff Road
Christopher Avenue
Clitherow Avenue
Haslemere Avenue
Jersey Road
Occupation Lane (reserve)
Ridley Avenue (reserve)
Temple Road

The current Tory administration believes that the roads are vital to all of our prosperity (whatever you think about alternatvie forms of transport we still need roads) and that keeping them up is a basic duty. In any case most of our residents take a pride in their homes and want to see the streetscape around them kept up too.

8 replies on “Keeping up the roads”

Party political squabbling aside: please, please, please can something be done about the junction of Uxbridge and Church Roads in Hanwell? The damage to the yellow box junction part of the road surface is beyond potholed; it is now canyonesque. It’s almost impossible to turn right from Uxbridge into Church Road on my bike without falling off.


Wasn’t it Labour who created the perceval house customer service centre that you love and regularly review, itself a big part of the bungled Response programme?

As for the state of the roads, go and have a look at some of the roads and pavements replaced under your administration, you wouldn’t think to know they were only recently changed. Sinking roads, potholes, broken paving slabs in particular which are cheaply replaced tarmac. Why don’t Ealing follow Hillingdon and Hounslow in having tarmaced pavements and save a few bob too!



If you are going to write off a clear statement of our record as “party political squabbling” then you are the one name calling, not me.

Pot holes have been a huge problem recently with the bad weather opening up many thousands. I suspect that the Uxbridge one is TfL’s problem but you can still report it by calling 020 8825 6000 and our people will chase TfL. At the last council meeting on 2nd February a question was asked about potholes and the Leader gave this answer:

“The Leader of the Council said that the recent cold weather had had a severe impact upon the borough’s roads and that all members will have seen an increase in potholes in their areas. This was not a problem exclusive to Ealing and was one that all local authorities were now facing.

The Council had through its contractor, Mouchel, undertaken a full assessment of the impact of the cold weather on the borough’s highways and 5,760 potholes had been identified across the borough. 3,060 customer reports had also been received about potholes making a total of 8,820, although it should be emphasised that at this stage that the customer reports might mirror potholes already picked up through the assessment and hence the overall number might be slightly lower. The cost of dealing with all of these potholes was estimated to be £569,700.

Twenty stretches of carriageway that would require some form of reconstruction had also been identified. The estimated cost of this reconstruction work was £120,000.

In short, the cost to the Council of dealing with the impact of the bad weather upon the borough’s highways was £689,700 and money was being made available to the Highways Department with the instruction to get on with the job. To tackle this issue the Council would be adopting a ‘Drive Through and Fix’ approach which would effectively be eight specialised crews driving the entire borough fixing potholes. These would be available from the following week and it was anticipated that using this approach would mean that all potholes would be fixed within seven weeks, ie: around the end of March.

However there were two caveats to this. Firstly, there was an assumption that there would not be a repeat of the cold spell of weather that was witnessed in January. Such a repeat was not forecast and so the risk of this was reasonably low at present although it was important to point this out.

Secondly, laying tarmac in temperatures of less than five degrees significantly increased the chances of a repair failing and a pothole appearing again quickly. The Council would not therefore undertake work involving tarmac where the temperature was consistently falling below five degrees. At the present time the temperature seemed to be hovering around the five degrees mark during the day but there were some days when the temperature fell below this. At present therefore this was being flagged up as a medium risk in terms of the smooth process of the repair works being undertaken. Members would be routinely updated on the progress being made.”



You are quite right that the customer service centre was a part of the bungled Response programme. I don’t think anyone would like to have seen us rip it apart just becuase it was created by the previous administration. Our approach since we have taken over has been one of continuous improvement rather than a big bang change. You only have to look at our track record on housing benefits claims to see how well this approach has worked.

I am glad you have noted that I use this blog to keep customer services on their toes. I think it is pretty core to my job to understand the actual experience that people have rather than to float around in the ether and pontificate.

I see you are repeating Stephen Pound’s cheap jibes about his road. He hasn’t yet admitted in public that his road is being undermined by a burst water main, not poor workmanship.

We do use tarmac to make good around trees, sometimes quite extensively. We have a straight choice with street trees: enjoy large trees and accept that they will mess up the pavements or chop them down and put in saplings. I for one am happy to live with damaged pavements with more flexible tarmac patches than chop them down.

On the whole we think tarmac pavements look cheap and nasty and our policy is to pave the whole borough with proper paving slabs.


I don’t think anyone should underestimate what an onerous task this is.

But where I am curious is why have the non TFL through roads in the borough not been done first followed by the hinterlands?


I am glad that those roads listed are going to be sorted. There was, however, a glowing omission from that list… Northfield Avenue. It is the main route between West and South Ealing, yet more and more bits of it are gradually crumbling to pieces. All they seam to be doing is a patch job, which is not doing its job. The whole length of the road needs to be completely resurfaced (I include Little Ealing Lane as well). It is an important road, after all.



I canvassed Steve Pounds road twice this week and while I was canvassing the road, Mouchel were there doing a cctv survey of the storm pipe.

This is the pipe that deals with surface water. The potholes that have appeared on this raod run in a straight line and end 3/4’s of the way down the road, roughly at the same point as where the storm pipe ends.

The cctv survey showed cracks in this pipe which explains the pot holes as the leaks result in softer soil under the road, so the constant flow of traffic eventually results in this ground slightly sinking and potholes developing.

I suspect Steve pound is well aware of the reason why potholes appeared here. I can’t ever remember him complaining how little the previous administration were spending on the roads in Ealing during their 12 year period in power.

I am sure your blog visitors already know we have spent mor ein our 4 years in power than Labour spent in 12 years. We use the same materials boroughwide as we did on the road where steve pound lives and have no problems on these roads.

If people want their road resurfaced, there is plenty evidence out there to suggest that Labour won’t do the job



Forgot to tell you how I got on with the canvassing. Three hours of canvassing resulted in finding 13 conservatives, 3 won’t vote, 1 liberal, 2 undecided, 4 Labour and the rest(6) floating voters who said they were likely to support us locally but were still not decided nationally.

We have canvassed this road during the european elections last year, the mayoral elections in 2008 and during the locals in 2006. I didn’t knock on our known supporters doors, so finding so many new conservatives was promising.


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