"It’s like something from the 1800s": Derbyshire council apologises for weekend of road resurfacing disruption

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Derbyshire County Council has apologised to residents of a Chesterfield street after road resurfacing workers caused two days of disruption and then left the job half-done, posing a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians.

Residents of South Street North, New Whittington, received instructions last week to remove their cars from the road between 8am and 8pm on Saturday, May 18, to allow for carriageway surface dressing, a project budgeted at £29,673.

However, after squeezing their vehicles on to neighbouring streets, Saturday came and went without any sign of contractors – who then showed up on Sunday, when cars were back outside people’s homes.

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Liam O’Shea, who has lived on the street for three years, said: “They did put a sign up late on Saturday, asking for cars to be removed by 6am, but I don’t think many people saw it.

The scene on South Street North, New Whittington, on Monday, May 20. (Photo: Liam O'Shea)The scene on South Street North, New Whittington, on Monday, May 20. (Photo: Liam O'Shea)
The scene on South Street North, New Whittington, on Monday, May 20. (Photo: Liam O'Shea)

“When they showed up on Sunday, they had real problems getting everyone to move again. Other roads around here became impassable, my wife ended up leaving our car five minutes’ walk away.”

Contractors eventually took about three hours to do the work, but when they packed up and left residents were shocked by the scene they left behind.

Liam said: “It looks worse now than before it started. It’s like something from the 1800s, for a horse and cart. I can’t believe it.

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“Cars are getting absolutely battered by stones. People are struggling to walk on the pavement, especially with wheelchairs or pushchairs – and we’re right next to a school – because whatever they’ve dug up from the road has just been left there.”

He added: “I had an accident last year and walk with crutches. If I step on something that jars me it’s absolute agony.”

Although work was incomplete, Liam says residents were given no indication if or when it might be finished.

Speaking on Monday afternoon, he said: “The only things are ‘No road markings’ and ‘20mph skid’ signs at the top of the road. There’s been nothing to say when they’re coming back.

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“Everybody’s annoyed and now nobody’s sure if our bins will be collected tomorrow.”

When the Derbyshire Times contacted the council, a spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, although we delivered letters to residents last Thursday – which we try to do to give as much notice as possible – saying we would be on South Street North on Saturday, we were delayed because of the weather, and weren’t able to get to the street until Sunday.

“We did amend the signs on the street on Saturday to say it would be Sunday, and sprayed a warning on the road surface to alert residents to the unavoidable change of plans. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused.”

They added: “We need to go back to the area and sweep the street, but we can only do this 24 hours after the surface dressing has gone down. So, we have left signs up on the street asking people to keep their cars off the street for three days so we can sweep it.

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“Before the street is swept we go along each pavement and make sure any excess material is blown into the street. But we can only do this is if every car is kept off the street, so we hope residents will be able to help us complete the sweeping by doing this. This is the same process we follow for every street we surface dress, and thanks to residents for their patience during these works.”

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