"Endless complaints" over footpath resurfacing outside 1,200 Penwortham homes

'Slurry sealing' of pavements has left 1,200 Penwortham homes blighted by "shoddy and slapdash" work, according to the local councillor.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 3:45 pm
Councillor David Howarth with the weeds that have grown through the resurfacing
Councillor David Howarth with the weeds that have grown through the resurfacing

County Councillor David Howarth has been so infuriated by the state of pavements in the Priory Estate, that he has lodged a formal complaint with Lancashire County Council highways department.

Work to prolong the life of the footpaths with the slurry seal began in April, and Coun Howarth states that there have been "endless" complaints from day one from residents that the new surface "just doesn't set".

>>>Click here to read how a similar problem happened in another part of Penwortham four years ago.

Tyre marks in Monks Walk, Penwortham

He said: "Householders have been informed that after two hours the material will have hardened sufficiently to walk on, and four hours before it can be carefully driven over. Despite these assurances, from the off, the pavements were left covered in footprints and tyre tracks and lumps were lifting away uncovering the original pavement underneath. It is still happening with every new stretch that they do."

Coun Howarth said he has also received complaints about material being left in gutters, weeds growing through the surface, and failures to tape off walls to private property or street furniture such as lamp posts, and tar being spread up them.

He says a lorry gouged out the surface of the pavement on the corner of Meadway and Stanley Grove a week after it has been laid.

It was so soft and tacky that both residents and staff at St. Theresa's School expressed their concerns about school children walking in it.

Slurry sealing on a garden wall in Blundell Lane, Penwortham

Particular concern has been raised that this work has been allowed to be carried out in the St Mary's Conservation Area, close to the Grade II listed St Mary's Church.

Coun Howarth said: "You can't do anything to your house in a conservation area without planning permission, but it seems they can slap down anything on the pavement."

The path outside Coun Howarth's own home in Crookings Lane, has also been affected.

He said: "Outside our home, it was unbelievable. They're supposed to have treated it with weedkiller, but I watched, and all they did was scrape some moss off with a shovel."

Marks in the footpath in Blundell Lane, Penwortham

Coun Howarth claims he left the surface to set for around nine hours before moving his car back onto the drive, and his partner left hers 24 hours, only to find that their tyres dragged up sections of the surface.

"It's an eyesore. We know it's not the best surface to start on, but if someone did my drive like that, I wouldn't be paying them."

He added: "We need to know from County Hall, how much has this cost and how have they been allowed to do it?

"It beggars belief that when problems were first pointed out in April that it's been allowed to carry on.

"County Highways don't like to be held to account for something that just isn't right."

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We regularly inspect work which has been carried out on Lancashire's roads by contractors to make sure that we're satisfied with its quality.

"The treatment which was recently carried out on the Priory Estate will help to extend the life of the pavements, and has improved their overall appearance, however we have identified some issues which need to be rectified and will be revisited shortly.

"These include areas where the new surface has been damaged, and bitumen emulsion needs to be cleaned away where it has been splashed against property walls. We will also look to resolve an issue in one area where some weeds have been resistant to the spraying which took place before the work was carried out."