Driver calls for action over dangerous potholes in Harlow

Politics / Sun 30th Jan 2022 at 01:42pm

A DRIVER has slammed the state of the town’s roads after her tyre was damaged after hitting a pothole in Harlow.

She has written a detailed letter to Essex County Council regarding the circumstances.

We have re-printed the letter as well as the response from Essex County Council.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to make a formal complaint about the dangerous potholes on the roads in Harlow, Essex. In particular, a pothole that I had the misfortune of driving over on Saturday (15 Jan 2022), which could have caused serious harm to me and my child.

I had spent the day at Harlow Leisure Zone with my 6-year-old daughter. At approximately 3pm I was driving home when I drove into a pothole in the middle of the road, on the roundabout that joins Harlow Leisure Zone to Manston Road and Tripton Road. I felt the bump and within 30 seconds, my cars’ tyre inflation system flashed a warning on my dash. I slowed the car right down but carried on driving having nowhere to pull over. To make matters worse, a speeding Police car with lights on was behind me and cars driving to the left of me, which meant I had no choice but to speed up and could have easily got into an accident.

At the Hastingwood Interchange roundabout – around 2 miles up the road, people in the cars next to me were alerting me to the fact that I had a flat tyre. I pulled over at the McDonalds just off the Hastingwood roundabout and got out to find my back left tyre was completely flat with a gash in the tyre.

My phone was out of battery and I was frightened and didn’t know what to do. I had a spare in the boot but had no idea how to change it myself. I was especially frightened as I had my daughter with me, so I decided to drive home (3 miles up the road). I put my hazards on and at 10 mph I slowly made my way home in Epping. There I immediately made several calls – to my insurance company Esure, and to a few tyre companies. At this point it was 5pm and places were closing.

On Monday morning I called a mobile tyre shop; they ordered a new tyre for me and came to repair it the next day (18th Jan), costing £95.

These tyres were brand new. A full set purchased on 18th November 2021 for £310 from the Tyre Warehouse in Harlow.

This pothole that I drove over is very dangerous and could have caused me and my daughter to get into a serious accident on a very busy dual carriage way. It has now made me fearful of driving in Harlow as there are so many potholes on the roads. Attached are images of the pothole in question, and an example of another dangerous pothole just meters away on the same road.

I would like to be reimbursed the £95 that I had to spend on having to replace this brand-new tyre, due to this dangerous pothole. Because the upkeep of these roads in Essex are ultimately, your responsibility as CEO of Essex County Council.

Attached I have provided a receipt to show my tyres were brand new and purchased in November 2021. A receipt for the replacement tyre and fitting. A screen grab of the calls I made on Saturday when I returned home (to my insurance company and to local tyre fitters). Pictures of the pothole and surrounding area. And a picture of another dangerous pothole just meters away. All the pictures have been named for ease of reference.

I have attempted to process this claim via the Essex County Council website, which is very arduous and not user friendly and keeps timing out on me. But I have been advised by many different people over the last week, that Essex County Council do not take these matters seriously and rarely accept responsibility. So I am appealing to your better nature and sense of community responsibility, and I sincerely hope you plan on taking action after receiving this email and not only reimbursing me, but also fixing the road as a matter of urgency.

To me this is unacceptable, highly dangerous and a serious hazard. These roads need to be fixed immediately before someone gets hurt.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Name and address supplied


An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about this incident. We would like to reassure the public that we carry out regular inspections of our roads and pavements, as well as having the public reporting defects to us, especially if a particular issue has recently deteriorated.

“We would urge Mrs Skehan to report the exact location of the pothole that caused the issue using our online Tell Us tool https://www.essexhighways.org/tell-us/problem-check

“Our inspector can then check it against our published priorities for intervention. Problems that meet our intervention criteria will either be classed as urgent and made safe without delay or considered for future work programmes when resources are available.”

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32 Comments for Driver calls for action over dangerous potholes in Harlow:

Ruth Clark
2022-01-30 14:37:12

Regular inspections!! What a farse, staple tye roundabout... pot holes, dual carriageway opposite water gardens.. pot holes, Hare Street.... Pot holes, where are these regular checks done ???

2022-01-30 14:51:13

I agree Ruth, there are no regular inspections, essex cc will blame the government for lack of funding and the government will say the opposite, im a delivery driver in harlow and a lot of the potholes have been around for 2-3 years or more, no doubt it will be blamed on the pandemic, the pothole in the left hand lane approaching staple tye roundabout from the bp garage has been there for at least 3 years, perhaps Essex cc are waiting for a accident to happen then do something about it, where does all the taxes we pay go because they definitely don't go on repairing the road.

2022-01-30 15:09:42

The roundabout in question has been full of potholes for as long as I can remember 🤔and recently a few of them were patched up but for some reason this one was missed. Like most residents in Harlow we have all developed a encyclopaedic knowledge of the roadways which means we constantly have to weive around the same potholes year in year out as it doesn't take long for the temporary fixes to wear away. Rather then completely resurfacing the roads properly. This leads to blown tyres and in my case damage to alloy wheels. I honestly don't think Essex County Council give a monkeys about the state of the roads. Asking car drivers to send pictures of locations of potholes is laughable they know where they are they just don't want to spend the money to repair them properly.

2022-01-30 15:48:12

Regular inspection my arse so many pot holes all around harlow . The biggest one is opposite Asda that's been like that for over a year ! You have some opposite the hospital near hare that you have to go over to other side of road . Plus the one this gentleman talks about . That's just a couple I can think of . Sort it out Essex County Council!!!!

Angela Kurton
2022-01-30 15:55:26

I had the same issue in the last week, when I hit a massive pot hole on the roundabout outside the Poundland depot (where the Royston Road meets Elizabeth Way). Like Razia, this ripped up the rim of my wheel and caused me a flat. This caused me inconvenience and an expense I could well have done without.

Richard Elven
2022-01-30 16:17:08

You want to try riding a bike on the roads of Harlow then

2022-01-30 17:01:52

So much for Essex County Council being able manage the development of transport plans for roads in and around, they can't even manage the very basics. Many of these potholes have been there so long that it's likely they'll soon be recorded as local landmarks on Google Maps. Might be an idea if residents posted photos to shame the Council.

2022-01-30 17:09:05

Regular inspections, what a load of Bull. I reported potholes Xmas 2020 have a case number, In June 2021 some Clown from Essex Council painted the Red lines around some potholes in Parsloe Road . 7 months have passed, Red lines have now worn away but potholes remain. Get your act together Essex Council and fix what we pay Council tax for.

Steve lewis
2022-01-30 17:12:59

The roads in Harlow are dangerous and in need of urgent repair and resurfacing, constant reporting for over two years and nothing I repeat nothing has been repaired, Essex county council should be taken to court by our local authority(Harlow council) we pay to have our roads in a drivable condition and they are clearly not, Essex county council road inspectors need to get out and do there job!!!!

2022-01-30 17:53:44

novoman, I use fixmystreet.com to report potholes, rubbish, lights out etc because it notifies the correct council be it Essex or Harlow, Over the past 3 years i have reported some 50/60 odd issues and 90% of them are still not fixed, We are being mugged off by local and county councils. Click on all reports and look at some of the dates when existing problems were notified, It's enough to make your blood boil.

2022-01-30 18:03:52

All I feel we need Mr/Miss or Mrs penis to start highlighting them! It is and utter joke! Just wait until it gets warmer and the dust from these holes place grit on the pavements and someone slips! I bet they will fill them in then! No wait a minute they will just get the council team to come down with the mini road sweeper and collect the grit then start again! Lets face it the Trees are more important! And please look a little closer to home for a certain Harlow councillor who was on Essex Council deemed the size of the hole before it gets filled! isnt that right Eddie!

2022-01-30 18:12:48

Absolutely disgusting pot holes every where, what’s happening to this town such a s**t hole now. Pot holes, dog doo, fly tipping no town centre to be proud of no bespoke shops or markets, crap transport links lots of new buildings going up god knows why people wish to live here so much being earned by the council in tax as well but what the hell are you doing with it. I could go on and on and on so disappointing

Nicholas Taylor
2022-01-30 18:51:13

If anyone needs evidence (we don't, we all know it) that Harlow is being left behind when it comes to fixing potholes one just has to take the A414 as an example. Drive from Maldon through Chelmsford, Ongar and to the M11 roundabout and you will be hard pressed to find a pothole. Drive on the three odd miles as it goes through Harlow and you will find loads. A huge hole has opened up at the traffic lights on Fourth Avenue at Abercrombie Way, which drivers cannot drive around, an accident waiting to happen.

2022-01-30 19:28:13

There is no regular inspection as said by many others! They are all over Harlow, on the way to bush fair, down the A414, on London Road to Sawbridgeworth to name but a few!. Accidents will happen as we are swerving these to save our tyres!! Why are we paying taxes please explain??

Dave Summerville
2022-01-30 19:31:54

Noticed that when the Tories took over control of our council that one of their first invited visitors was the guy from Essex County Council who deals with potholes--yourharlow published some photos of his visit---and things have not improved--dear old Harlow has been treated like a backwater by ECC for many many years and still is--and I thought some of our Council Tax goes to them--what really do they do for us ?

Stephen Patrick
2022-01-30 19:33:58

Codswallop. Regular checks??? Seen bad potholes around the town for a couple of years. The roads are a disgrace

2022-01-30 20:46:35

The roads in Harlow are in the worst state that I have known in the 20 years I have lived here. There are numerous large potholes in major roads in the town, and many more smaller ones that will become bigger as the weeks go by. No matter what is said or promised by councillors at Essex County Council, or even at our own council who, just before the last Local Election, insisted they would put pressure on Essex County Council to sort out our roads - nothing gets done. We have been badly let down by Essex County Council, Harlow Council and all the councillors who made promises they couldn't keep.

2022-01-31 04:49:43

Surely the idea of paying so much in road tax is to maintain the roads, once again this proves our money is not going where it's supposed to be going. All through the years Councils have blamed bad winter weather for the state of our roads, but we haven't had a bad winter for years now and still nothing has been done to improve them. You keep finding ways to screw the motorist out of their hard earned cash, high fuel, high tax, parking permits to park everywhere, we seriously can't do it anymore things have to change. Repair our roads before someone is seriously hurt or killed hitting one of these holes, keeping an eye on the situation is not a good enough answer Get off your asses and do something for a change

2022-01-31 07:04:42

We spend all our money on illegal immigrants. These hotels, 3 meals a day, mobile phones, health care, clothes etc etc it isn't cheap....

Oliver Copping
2022-01-31 08:20:10

For the past 20 years Harlow has been quite obviously at the very bottom of Essex County Council's priority list. (In the pst 5 years I don't think Harlow even makes it on to their list). Tucked in the west of the county we are always ignored with the precious the few resources going elswhere in the county where it is more visible. This neglect of Harlow by the County Council spans across all areas of their responsibility, not just highway maintenance. Something radical needs to happen. Maybe Harlow should now be in East Herts !

2022-01-31 08:53:47

Do you report these potholes? Go to the Essex CC website and enter the details there. Put pressure on Essex CC by recording the potholes. I claimed some years ago and they said they knew nothing about the pothole which buckled my wheel and blew the tyre. I knew of the pothole and normally avoided it, but on this occasion oncoming traffic forced me to catch it. They sent lots of paperwork "proving" they had carried out inspections as per the laid down requirements. All I can say is the inspector must have needed glasses as the pothole had been there a long time and had not been recorded by the inspector.

2022-01-31 09:57:55

I made complaint about 12-18 months to Essex county council about a enormous Waste drain proceeding out & upwards on payment on summers just on the turn in to HULL GROVE not only that but the payment Tar Mac has also risen & the surrounding is that bad have to go on the muddy grass to get past on mobility scooter, or make my way round on road with Rollator, let me tell you cars come up there like they are at Brands Hatch!!! The pavements as well as the roads are dybolical by the time I've navigated round I ache all over when I get home. They told would be done every time I ring them...what are they waiting for because this has been like this for years & is so very very dangerous...The older people actually walk in & down the road from Haliday House to the bus stop at Hull Grove because the pavements are so bad.. All this about making Harlow the town it use to be!!! Need to tidy the whole place up that means the roads paths, hedges grass the whole lot...stop spending the money on ridiculous things because that is not going make people come here to live or to visit..in fact if survey was to be carried out most people want to move out... councils need to bangs their heads together stop sitting on the funds for which are there to do these improvements not your pockets!!!

2022-01-31 10:20:57

If everybody who commented here writes to ECC with the following below legislation, people power against government might force them to either fix the problem or close the statatory rule.. I bank the later but need to remain open minded! The Section 56 procedure allows someone to issue a notice under the Highways Act 1980 that a road or 'way' is defective.

Edward Huxtable
2022-01-31 10:27:16

2 of the worst potholes I have seen are between cannons Brook golf club and burnt mill business units . You could loose a small car down one of them. And worse still is when it rains and fills the potholes , you then don't know they are there. EssexCC stop wasting money on crap and get these pot holes fixed. We have just had parringdon road outside my house resurfaced and it was not that bad . Get your priorities right , a chimp could do a better job.

Lauren Huxtable
2022-01-31 10:28:29

2 of the worst potholes I have seen are between cannons Brook golf club and burnt mill business units . You could loose a small car down one of them. And worse still is when it rains and fills the potholes , you then don't know they are there. EssexCC stop wasting money on crap and get these pot holes fixed. We have just had parringdon road outside my house resurfaced and it was not that bad . Get your priorities right , a chimp could do a better job.

2022-01-31 11:32:03

I think it would be good for Your Harlow to leave this page open for a while as it is obviously growing with complaints and to be honest I have got fed up with speaking to people within Highways and the Council about the state of Harlow as hey quiet clearly don't give a shit (sorry) Maybe Your Harlow can then forward these comments on as they may have a bit more luck and not be fobbed off. I totally agree with a comment above that they have no interest in Harlow SHAME ON THEM

2022-01-31 12:07:07

Laughable! These are not potholes but craters! Disgusting service E.C.C. Harlow roads have more potholes than road, you have to adjust your driving to miss them. Unfortunately sometimes you have no choice but to go down them to avoid oncoming traffic. Get your act together!

Dave Summerville
2022-01-31 17:14:49

Perhaps our Harlow representatives who we voted in to represent us at County Hall would let them see these comments and how unfairly we have been treated for so long--in the past we have been ignored and "back of the queue" for improvements--did actually think with Tories now in control of Harlow their majority County Council comrades might do something.

barry Stockley
2022-01-31 18:08:56

Roads checked regularly? Thats a joke.The amount of dangerous pot holes i see around the town. I am surprised the inspectors have not been involved in serious road accidents, as they must be driving round with their eyes shut. Absolutely pathetic our EEC.

2022-02-02 15:57:09

There's not enough money to repair the sixty years' worth of deterioration that heavier vehicles, more traffic and weather have caused on roads in Harlow and elsewhere in Essex. People want top quality roads; top quality NHS; magnificent schools with loads of staff; all libraries kept open and, most of all want loads of funding or social care. But no-one wants to pay the level of taxes needed to pay for what we want. Sure, there's a bit of waste here and there but basically we are in a state of managed decline. Even the housing in Harlow is in that condition. Want better? Pay more. And Car Tax does not go to county Council but to central government.

2022-04-30 20:38:32

Has any one reported a issue on the sheering road in the last 12 months, my daughter had a tyre blow out, causing immense stress and fear. After trying to claim for the tyre ECC stated they had regular inspections on this road and there were no significant defects! It’s the road Rod Stewart repaired. The letter stated if she is unhappy she will have to take ECC to court as there is no appeal process. We will do this but need additional evidence to champion this abysmal service, putting adults and children at risk. ! Any pictures or claims made would be very helpful for me to collate evidence. Let’s stand up to this Bureaucracy. . .

Keith Murrell
2023-01-12 17:58:59

Does anyone get compensated for damaged tyres on the terrible roads in Harlow ? I had 2 flat tyres driving over a large pothole on Edinburgh Way between the Macdonald’s Roundabout & the Toby Carvery Roundabout, I have photos of the hole which is the worst pothole I have ever seen resulting having to pay £270 to join the AA, a further £150 to get the vehicle towed to Takeley & £500 fo 2 tyres, so do I contact Essex Highways to try & get some compensation or will I be wasting my time ?

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