UPCOMING work to improve two roads in Fordingbridge may not be enough to address safety issues for pedestrians, councillors fear.

A survey carried out by the town council last year found that 74 per cent of residents rated the roads as “poor or very poor”, which included main routes through the town.

Action is to be taken on some key routes, with “patching work” scheduled for Salisbury Road and Salisbury Street.

Hampshire County Councillor for Fordingbridge, Edward Heron, told Fordingbridge Town Council at a meeting this month that county officers had been out inspecting roads and pavements.

He added: “They have programmed some patching work to be done in Salisbury Road. They have put Salisbury Street into the Operation Resilience resurfacing programme for the next financial year.”

Cllr Heron said more patching work would be done in Whitsbury Road, which county officers “hoped to get done as soon as possible”.

But during the same meeting deputy mayor, Anna Wilson, highlighted a particularly bad section of pavement along Whitsbury Road near the Augustus Park housing development, pictured.

She said: “A bit of patching there is not going to do it.”

The pavement is regularly covered in mud and she said that people were having to walk in the road.

Councillor Alan Lewendon said he had also previously expressed concern about the pavement, and that it needed to be raised.

Explaining what causes the problem, he said: “The problem there is the road has been resurfaced and the road level is now higher than the pavement.”

He said as a result water flows off the road and onto the pavement and “just collects mud” and forms a puddle, adding: “People have to walk round the puddle onto the grass, which pushes mud into it and leaves drop on there. It is just an accumulated effect. The pavement there needs to be raised.”

Cllr Lewendon was told this could be looked at through Hampshire County Council’s Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

Cllr Heron urged members of the public to report road and pavement defects to Hampshire County Council. He suggested using the New Forest District Council app’s “report it” function, which would flag the issue with the county council.

Councillor Rob Humby, the deputy leader of Hampshire County Council and executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “Concerns were raised by Fordingbridge Town Council regarding the condition of the footways on Salisbury Road, Whitsbury Road and Salisbury Street.

"These have been investigated and we are to carry out footway patching works along Salisbury Road and Whitsbury Road as soon as possible.

"The footways Salisbury Street are included in our Operation Resilience programme for the coming financial year (2021/22); dates for this work have not yet been confirmed as there are currently restrictions on roadworks to ensure full access at all times to the vaccination centre at nearby Fordingbridge Hospital."

In regards to the pavement issue in Whitsbury Road near to Augustus Park, he added: "I can confirm that the concerns raised have been logged on our systems and our highways team will be investigating this in the near future; any remedial works required will be ordered and programmed accordingly.”

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