An Open Email to Hampshire Roads

I wrote an email to the Hampshire Roads and Maintenance enquiries address, including my local councillors on the email. This is response to recent resurfacing work which has taken place on our road which I’m less than amused about. I’ve decided to make this an open mail by posting it here on my blog due to the level of dissatisfaction I have.


Recently, Shakespeare Road in Popley was resurfaced. I’d like to bring several points to your attention relating to the surfacing work which took place.

The road surface on Shakespeare Road should not have been due for resurfacing, although it is now. With the exception of the entrance from Popley Way into Shakespeare Road (the second entrance if coming from the A33 which the buses use to exit Shakespeare Road) the entire road was of satisfactory condition from my perspective as a car, motorcycle and bicycle user.

The new surface which has been applied is actually worse than the existing surface. The surface which was left consisted of extremely loose gravel which was not packed down before being left. The gravel was extremely unsafe to drive on even at the 10mph suggested by the signage put in place. The skid risk signs were removed two weeks ago but there is a still a large amount of gravel being thrown around by passing vehicles, with some parts of the road starting to form piles of gravel. With the recent bought of rain, much more gravel has been drawn out from the surface highlighting that the 10mph signs were removed far too prematurely.

The surface transition from the piece of road which actually needed surfacing to the new surface is terrible, with several undulations while passing over it and the surface transition from the work which was done on day one to that of day two of work is also terrible ( The entire stretch of road also has a tramline in it where the work done on day one differs from day two ( A sunken drain at the edge of the road near the entrance aforementioned has been left sunken and simply been surfaced around. The camber of the road no longer exists meaning that rain puddles are forming in the middle of the road right in the tyre tracks of cars which in a heavy rain will likely cause a loss of braking performance should a child jump off a kerb in front of someone.

The new surface is already breaking up in sections near the One Stop shop ( and A pothole at the edge of the road at the crossing to Pebbles day care and nursery has been left unresolved ( This, in my view is a health and safety risk as a number of children and parents with pushchairs use this crossing daily to access the nursery site. All it will take is for a child to trip over here one day and they could end up being struck by a car on this relatively blind corner. Another large bump at the edge of the crossing which leads down to the footpath between the new estate and the fields behind the doctors surgery hasn’t been levelled out either (

These are just some of the faults with the surface that I’ve observed over the recent days so there are likely to be countless others, on sections of Shakespeare Road which I haven’t travelled.

I fail to understand how the council had decided to allocate road surfacing budget to a road which didn’t need it except for the portion outlined at the top of this mail and after the work was completed, the road surface has been made worse than it was originally? I also fail to understand now the only portion which should have been repaired has been left, completed untouched?

I do not see the point in spending money on applying a new surface if basic defects in the underlying road condition aren’t resolved first? It would be like me setting down a new layer of floor tiles over the top of the old ones because there are a few cracked ones instead of lifting the old ones and repairing them.

Whilst I understand that recent years of winter frost, snow and ice are causing road surfaces to deteriorate more rapidly causing road surfacing budget to be spread thinly, what I don’t understand is why the quality of work on resurfacing has dropped dramatically across the whole of Hampshire? Any resurfacing work I see completed in the region largely leaves a new surface marginally better if not worse that existing (take the A339 and A33 for example), and because the grade of work is so low, the new surface only lasts six months to a year at best before it should be surfaced again. What happened to actually correctly surface defects properly with the intention of providing a long term, lasting solution? Surely correctly something properly once rather than applying continuous band aid style short-term fixes would be more cost effective?

I’m sure that nothing will be done to rectify the situation in Shakespeare Road because frankly enough money has already been wasted on it, but I would none-the-less like my comments to be taken for the record as a complaint against the quality of work done here. In short, a waste of council tax payers money and council budgetary resources. As a resident of Shakespeare Road, I feel pretty let down on this occasion and my current frame of mind it to go to the top of Shakespeare Road and pour some concrete of my own to repair the parts which need it. I’m not in the trade of construction, but I don’t think I could do a worse job than that which has been done thus far?

Areas of road such as filter left lane on the roundabout adjoining the Ringway North and the Ringway West which is worsening by the week, the roundabout where the Ringway West and Winchester Road meet or the entire width of the road at the roundabout where the Ringway East meets the Ringway South and the M3 are in much greater need of surfacing work as these are heavily used commuter and main traffic routes throughout Basingstoke yet they remain untouched?

To be totally blunt about it, it strikes me as though all decisions are made on which roads to allocate surfacing budget to my bureaucrats in regional offices and not people who have actually ever driven in Basingstoke and understand the real roads maintenance requirements.

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