Letter to Editor: Harlow’s roads-“This is no way the public should be served by Essex County Council”

Politics / Fri 11th Mar 2022 pm31 12:47pm


HARLOW has suffered long-term pothole problems for around two decades.     More recently street lighting faults and damaged road signs have not been repaired, often month after month.   Then this past winter a whole section of the A414 between two roundabouts had no lights working for a prolonged period.   

This is no way the public should be served by Essex County Council (ECC).

In October 2021 I emailed my Essex County Councillor, suggesting the contract needs reviewing because it appears to be weighted in favour of the contractor with disadvantage to the public.   That email concluded “I therefore ask that you, as my representative, provide information on exactly what the criteria is within the current contract”.   His response was merely “I will investigate the issue on your behalf”.

Not having received any follow-up, I therefore asked ECC a Freedom of Information request this year and their response was quite detailed (available on their website).  I would summarise the contract as being open-ended,  without any penalties.    No wonder repairs take so long.

Perhaps ECC are running the County to suit themselves – maybe staff have shares with the contractor!  [Understandably, much of the contract is confidential.]

Harlow has four Conservative County Councillors, all four  being Harlow Ward Councillors too.    I contacted them at the end of February suggesting they approach County Hall and am waiting for their response.   

Meanwhile, anyone who supports my approach to ECC should make their views known to both their HDC & ECC Councillors – listed in Harlow Times and Harlow Council website.


Peter Scally,

Church Langley, Harlow.

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17 Comments for Letter to Editor: Harlow’s roads-“This is no way the public should be served by Essex County Council”:

Michael Hatton
2022-03-11 13:24:56

Sir - It's a pity that this contributor didn't create a fuss when the Socialists were holding office, and took it on themselves to wreck the town and surrounding areas.

2022-03-11 13:49:02

Michael Essex is Conservative and is responsible for roads highways. Note the lighting and signs on the roundabout at Tesco in Church Langley Way remain dangerously out of action despite the damage being several months old. Some potholes have been there so long they have their own places on Google!!

fed up
2022-03-11 14:42:06

can we have some pot holes in trayces road it the only thing that slow the traffic down

Colin Moody
2022-03-11 14:47:28

Admittedly there are problems with the condition of some roads in Harlow, but that is not the (w)hole story, as the footpaths and cycle tracks are in a similar sorry state of (dis)repair. I have reported some in the past (October 2020) and also been in correspondence with Michael Hardware, one of the West Harlow councillors on Essex County Council about the matter for the same amount of time. Some repairs have eventually been carried out, but if you want to see some, in my opinion, dangerous places go to Haydens Road from the underpass opposite Harlow Playhouse to the junction with Third Avenue and look at the potholes in the cycle track and the broken and uneven footpath. As for Michael Hatton's comment, surely he must be aware, that as far as I can remember which goes back to the 1970s, Essex County Council, which is responsible for highways which includes footpaths and cycle tracks, has always been controlled by the Conservative Party.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-11 15:10:23

Residents should not have to resort to contacting a councillor on such issues, there are enough well paid council officers who set the priorities and programme of work and it must be clear to everybody that Harlow has not had it's fair share of repairs and renewal for many many years, all down to Tory controlled Essex County Council. The Tories at Harlow Council are crowing that Harlow will be the best town in Britain and we will have the best cycle track in the world(!!!!) and yet Harlow Council can not even get a pot hole filled in.

2022-03-11 16:16:38

A lot of potholes around Harlow have been filled in to a fashion, because little while later the. pothole appears again. When you go round Harlow it's like a patch work quilt, where the the holes hae just filled in

2022-03-11 16:41:01

Harlow is just one big hole.

2022-03-11 16:46:11

Over 70% of road Bollards either do not work or have gone missing entirely in Harlow.

2022-03-11 17:00:12

It is clear evidence that Essex County Council see Harlow as a deprived town , Therefore they don’t care what state we have to put up with. But they are quite happy to collect our Council Tax and use it elsewhere.

2022-03-11 17:32:55

The roads in Harlow, and this part of Essex generally (Epping’s roads are bad too) are appalling. The worst I can remember. Essex County Council and our Councillors who seem indifferent to these problems have failed us. I don’t think they care.

2022-03-12 00:30:54

The staple tye roundabout they filled in 3 holes but left the one approaching the roundabout in the left lane from the bp garage, its been there for at least 2 years probably more, what kind of idiots do eec employ

2022-03-12 05:50:43

There is an article in Epping Forest Guardian showing "Extensive Planned Road Closures" for roadworks in Harlow starting from about middle of this month. 11 roads are listed for closure or partial closure. I guess the dates could drift but the good news is it looks like something will be done soon.

Concerned citizen
2022-03-12 08:52:28

At the last election our lacklustre leader promised many millions to address the nationwide pothole problem. I emailed Robert Halfon a few weeks ago to ask how much of that budget had actually been spent on pothole repairs. He replied that he will find out, but I've not heard anything more. Looking at the state of Harlow's roads I suspect very little.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-12 09:06:06

Must be an election coming up, it has just been announced that some roads are set to be repaired/renewed during 2022, same thing happened before the election last year.

Kim Oconnor
2022-03-12 09:59:10

There not a care for roads while there building these huge structures and unaffordable housing everywhere. This is what happens, there main focus is on theses unsightly huge projects. While rest of Harlow falls apart. No use complaining because they never get back to you, or they never answer the question, which just says to me must be true then. On my little road where I live theses pot holes are bloody huge, there so bad that I carnt ride my bike till I get out on main road. There craters. AND THERE ALL OVER THIS TOWN.

2022-03-12 11:41:44

The pot holes and cracks etc in this harlow town and housing estates are really disgusting! I stepped down into the road near my home to get into my car and I twisted my ankle in an hole just down from the kerb and fell over into the road smashed my knees broken my phone and I could of got ran over if a car was coming along at the Time!

2022-03-12 18:54:57

Behind The Stow shopping centre, alongside No 1-2 Orchard Croft the footpath has been in a dangerous state of repair for at least 6 years. I have reported it many times but still it hasn't been repaired!!

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