Essex Highways contract needs full review - Robinson

October 5, 2018 11:07 AM
By James Gregory in Essex Live
Originally published by Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson campaigning for 'lollipop' crossing patrolCouncillors have called for the county council's highways contract to be publicly scrutinised in the wake of Chelmsford's Army and Navy flyover closing.

The Leaders of the Opposition Councillor Mike Mackrory and Councillor Stephen Robinson, both Lib Dems, have argued that Essex County Council's current contract with Ringway Jacobs is "too expensive" for the services it provides..

The Army and Navy flyover, which is operated and maintained by Ringway Jacobs, was closed on September 11 after the discovery of damage to the base of the supporting pillars. It has remained closed ever since.

It follows a temporary closure in July where the council carried out three weeks' worth of essential maintenance work on the structure before reopening it on August 13.

The council says that the persistent hot weather experienced this summer may have been a contributory factor to the damage.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of the council and portfolio holder for infrastructure, repeatedly maintained the flyover was safe before the indefinite closure, adding that it was 'recent damage' not visible during the July-August engineering work.

But Cllr Robinson, who represents Chelmsford North on the county council, argued that the damage was gradual and should have been noticed at an earlier date.

"Whatever the actual cause was, they did not notice it when it was closed for three weeks," Cllr Robinson said.

"A lot of the issues are things that have been growing - they have not happened overnight and not in the last few weeks."

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