Breaking News First reported by Island Echo

ISLAND ROADS HAVE RESURFACED JUST 60% OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT ROAD NETWORK


Island Roads have resurfaced just 60% of the Isle of Wight’s road network during the first 7 years of the PFI contract, despite an initial suggestion that all 818km of the network would be resurfaced during the Core Investment Period.

According to the Isle of Wight Council, as of 31st August 2019, just 497km of Isle of Wight’s roads have been resurfaced. That means, on average, 71km of road has been resurfaced each year during the CIP. It would take a further 4.5 years to complete resurfacing the entire network if work carried on at the same pace, which it won’t after April 2020.

This confirmation means that Island residents may not see their roads resurfaced for years and years to come – if at all.

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Island Echo raised questions about the Core Investment Period (CIP) back in May of this year as it became clear that a number of roads had still not been touched, with the end of the CIP looming. In addition, the ‘works in your area’ map was suddenly removed from the official Island Roads website without explanation.

More recently, Councillor Geoff Brodie has started publically questioning the delivery of the original CIP promises.

In a recent statement issued by the Isle of Wight Council in response to Cllr Brodie, Cllr Ian Ward claimed that although the original plan was for all roads to be resurfaced, this changed when government funding for the Highways PFI project was reduced by 30% in 2010. However, a council document discovered by Cllr Brodie dated May 2012 has thrown doubt on this claim…

The official report states:

“The scope of the project…has broadly remained unchanged since December 2009, despite the reduction in grant funding. The project team… has focused on improving value for money… the consequence of which has been to achieve the same scope.

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“The project covers the Island’s entire adopted highways network encompassing all forms of highway maintenance…

“The project scope includes refurbishment of 818 kilometres of publicly maintained adopted road networks… which requires considerable upgrade within the seven-year Core Investment Programme (CIP).”

Albert Road in Sandown – one of many roads that have failed after resurfacing

As recently as last year, a senior Isle of Wight Councillor is known to have been telling members of the public that every road would be resurfaced in the first 7 years. Cllr Stuart Hutchinson said in a report to Shalfleet and Yarmouth Parish Council in 2018:

“Our Highways network continues to improve and by the end of the core investment period, which has another two years to run, every Island Road and pavement will have been brought up to a high standard. It then will be maintained at that standard for the next 20 years”.

Island Echo has asked the Isle of Wight Council how many km of the Island’s roads will be resurfaced under the PFI agreement. The response doesn’t pin down a number. A spokesperson said:

“The contract requires Island Roads to bring the network up to an agreed standard — not to upgrade every single road.

“It is important to clarify that the road resurfacing and renovation programme will not cease once we reach the end of the Core Investment Period in April 2020. So far, approximately 90 percent of the Island’s most used roads (known as hierarchy one and two roads) have been treated”.

This week Councillor Karen Lucioni has been left surprised following a response by Island Roads to her enquiry about Bennet Street in Ryde – arguably one of the worst roads on the Island. Despite a desperate need for resurfacing, Island Roads have confirmed that the road is not currently in any schedule to be resurfaced. This seems to be a reoccurring theme when roads are made of concrete bases.

Details about ‘further efficiency savings’ coming into force from April 2020 are yet to be confirmed.

Have you noticed cracks appearing in recently resurfaced roads? We would love to know where you think the roads are already breaking up… comment below!

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

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Andrew Holman
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Andrew Holman

Not sure I like your leading question asking people to report cracks in roads. Clearly there are issues with targets not being met. Clearly cuts have affects. But none the less, having been living here for 4 years I have been amazed at how good the roads are compared to much of the north isle. Not only resurfaced but done to an exceptional standard. Just saying…

Old bean
Guest
Old bean

I am not a island road fan but what’s the point of tarmacing everywhere then wightfibre dig it up they grab scratches the road pointless

hedger
Guest
hedger

Two of our A roads are in the top 10 most dangerous rural roads in the country sections of wihich have not been resurfaced for years. Already Carisbrooke Rd and Noke Common are failing and the section at Northwood just completed is just as uneven as before they started. Something needs to be done 9 million is being used to put in services to develope the prison site and this should have been used be used to resolve the issues on the roads. Bleak Down was resurfaced before the PFI and is still in prefect order.

Mark Dunsford
Guest
Mark Dunsford

Albert road and Station avenue in Sandown were closed for weeks for resurfacing yet started breaking up within a couple of months of completion. Two years later they are in a worse condition than before they touched it.

Ironically Ian Ward lives in Station Avenue so if he can’t even ensure that his own street is done properly what chance is there for the rest of the island’s roads?

Ben
Guest
Ben

Station avenue is still way better than it used to be in fairness.

David Coleman
Guest
David Coleman

They are breaking up and rippling on the edges because it has no kerb to hold it in place you will notice this dose not happen In the parts of a stretch of road that has ie. a driveway ect

Mike
Guest
Mike

Albert Road in Sandown, it was re-surfaced last year and within 6 months the tarmac was breaking up and sinking. It has since been patched a few times, but still as if it was never worked on at all.

Az-zahra Aziz
Guest
Az-zahra Aziz

We can guess that even LESS will be done in the same length of time now then. As they have been doing the ‘easiest’ roads first. The ones where they can lay miles of tarmac with little traffic, lights, signs, drains, parked cars, kerbs and driveways to adjust. So by putting their ‘efforts’ into miles of easy country roads and tracks, instead of those roads which really need attention, they have avoided the costliest and most difficult ones.

Lets hope the cash is not all gone by time the roads which really matter are finished. That WOULD be a ‘surprise’, NOT.

Also, they never do as I were led to believe and dig down to the underlying strata, and stabilise that first, but instead just pap a thick layer of tarmac on top, leaving the unstable underlying clay and slipper to cause damage latter.

Another council success story.

Nick Groocock
Guest
Nick Groocock

Landguard Manor Road was breaking up badly within a year of resurfacing. I saw Island Roads testing going on a year prior to the works looking to see what type of resurfacing was required. Love to see that report.

Catherine Barton
Guest
Catherine Barton

We have two routes in and out of Seaview and they are both diabolical! Island Roads keep patching – complete waste of money! Resurfacing should be a priority.

Fedup
Guest
Fedup

You are very polite Caroline!

Fedup
Guest
Fedup

Sorry, wrong name, Catherine. Must be effect of travelling to Seaview – blows the brain.

Andrew Hoggan
Guest
Andrew Hoggan

Hi from Poole. My girlfriend and I, visited the island at the beginning of this month. We had a lovely time, driving, around the island. But the one thing we always talked about was the condition of the roads. There were either very good or just down right, awful. Sad to say, but we were glad to get back home.

SIMON DABELL
Guest
SIMON DABELL

There used to be a sign at Fishbourne Ferry terminal which said “Island Roads are different…”. Though of course Island residents are bound to find fault with most things in life, I can’t fault the quality of our roads today compared to how they were some 20 years ago. Having just returned from a 1000 mile drive round England on a 12 day holiday, a majority of mainland A & B roads we drove on, were in much worse a state than most of our Island routes. Well done to whomever is in charge.

Hail TheIWC
Guest
Hail TheIWC

To be fair WightFibre are doing their very best to at least make sure the island pavements match the style of the roads.

Tax Payer
Guest
Tax Payer

Every PFI hat I know has failed to deliver ! Just a joke

Phyllis Ryan
Guest
Phyllis Ryan

Half of Marlborough Road, in Ryde was resurfaced 3 years ago, and has been deteriorating ever since. Cracks are in evidence over a fair amount of the surface, although at the moment SGN are currently digging along the road, so they may not be so evident.

Bill Jones
Guest
Bill Jones

Save the entrance fee to Blackgang Chine rollercoaster, and take a drive down Surrey Street Ryde. Potholes, patches and mounds. It’s as if the road has been hit by an earthquake.

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

I am not going to elaborate on the detail of this PFI contract. (Former IWC Councillor Phil Jordan has articulated comprehensive detail in the past.
The basic contract has proven to be unmanageable from both the client and the supplier. I know that Cllr Jordan tried to improve this situation.
From my understanding the original ethos of this contract was that all Roads and footways would be REBUILT fence to fence. ie full width. This changed when the element of government funding was reduced by approximately £130 million.
This was never officially published to my knowledge. The perception was that full reconstruction was still to be undertaken.
The fact is that the roads on the Island are built on clay and do not have adequate foundation for today’s traffic loads.
Instead the IWC preferred contractor embarked on endeavouring to provide a satisfactory surfacing which would inevitably require subsequent repair beyond the original CIP. I suggest that it naively believed that the initial surfacing would at least last beyond the CIP and into the maintenance period.
Subsequently a relatively small proportion of carriageways have been fully rebuilt. I do not know if this would be classified as being works outside the terms of the contract and thus whether the IWC would pay for ‘extras’!
I can hear anyone who has a an element of engineering knowledge saying ‘told you so!’
As part of its original bid it set out to use an element of recycled material.
This material cannot be used in the winter months as it is cement based and thus vulnerable to weather conditions.
Hence the Contractor very soon experienced slippage to the programme
What I do not understand is why the IWC did not appear to undertake contract reviews and impose penalties as this slippage became apparent.
Or more more sensibly revisit the contract and negotiate revised realistic targets which may have delivered significant savings.

Laine Patty
Guest
Laine Patty

Sadly our Councils reply to your last two paragraphs would be one or more of the following ….1. We paid for consultation to look into the problem and now we have insufficient funds to carry on. 2. We do not have sufficient funds to legally look into any shortfalls in Island Roads promised works. 3. None of the Councillors have even considered the actions you have mentioned. 4. If ever brought up at Council meetings the response would be …. Next !

Richard
Guest
Richard

MR PUGH, thankyou

Gareth Hayles
Guest
Gareth Hayles

Have a look at Adelaide Road in East Cowes. The same problems are appearing again in the same places like it was before it was resurfaced.

John
Guest
John

Lushington hill only been resurfaced and it’s already cracking up grass growing through it . And Fairlee and the racecourse the surface is shocking at best

Alex
Guest
Alex

Island roads I’ve never known a company that has an obsession with temporary traffic lights one that is becoming a rather unhealthy obsession I’m waiting for the day a set to be set up round a dead pheasant you know just incase. Anyway What baffles me is how backwards island roads and the council are spending millions on fixing things that are not broken but ignoring the actual route cause of the problems in the first place (COPPINS BRIDGE) also they have done all the small roads that are hardly used but left most of the major roads which are becoming like 4×4 tracks like fairlee road/racecourse it’s like driving on a rollercoaster almost becoming dangerous then you have John st in Ryde that hasvhuge tyre dips in the road where buses run. as said Noke common is all breaking up as well as roads like main shalfeet/Yarmouth road is all cracked. When a road is done you can Guarantee one of the utility company’s will dig it up a few days later repair it with a cheap bag of macadam which washes out in the rain then your back to square one. Just to finish the diabolical mess with Wight fibre chaos on the roads seems to play on deaf ears. I guess the the more loaded them brown envelopes passed around are the more a blind eye is turned.

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

No wonder Island Roads are laughed at by their mainland Equivalent! P*** Up and brewery spring to mind!

Flabbergasted
Guest
Flabbergasted

Is anybody really shocked at those statistics? Island Roads and Eurovia have been ripping this Island off for years. If our road system cannot cope now, imagine what it will be like in a further 10 years after hundreds more homes are built for another influx of Brummies, Mancs and Scousers. This Island is slowly being ruined. We may as well put a dozen tugs off the southern coast and push it up to Portsmouth.

fred
Guest
fred

Park Road was resurfaced in August and now by Bennet Street Jct There is a very nice dip and failing surface around 6ft Long and getting worse by the day.
Park Road/Dover St Jct was dug up and then a temp surface laid, 2 weeks later Temp surface dug up and new surface laid, if that wasnt a waste of money i dont know what was

Baboshka
Guest
Baboshka

Not only are the roads in a bad mess, our pavements are too. As a disabled person who uses a mobility scooter I dread what they will be like after the winter.
Fiber should have been made to resurface the whole pavement and not just part of it.

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