Residents’ road repairs are pot-hole lot of fun

John McKay, fourth from left

John McKay, fourth from left

First published in News

ONCE every 18 months, the residents of Poplar Road, Botley, fill in their potholes.

Their street is unadopted by Oxfordshire County Council, meaning that they have no reposnibility for it, so homeowners have to look after it.

On Saturday, in what has become a local tradition, some 17 homeowners from the 30-house street brought out their wheelbarrows and spades and set to work.

Sand and gravel aggregate is poured into the holes and then the residents rent a roller to flatten it out – a total cost of about £1,000 a time.

Compared to the six-figure sum it would cost to resurface the whole street, it is a drop in the ocean.

Resident John McKay, 50, a porter at Exeter College, says community ownership brings the street together.

He said: “It’s not up to road standard, but it’s pretty flat, and quite safe.

“It certainly wouldn’t work for the whole city – we have a good community spirit which is kind of unique.

“Occasions like that when we all get together, I can’t see another road doing that.

“Other roads might have a party for the Queen’s Jubilee, but this is full-time.”

Residents buy their own grit bins, but Vale of White Horse District Council collects the rubbish.

The street holds fundraising events throughout the year to pay for the road – a street party, a plant sale and barbecue.

Each house also contributes £25 a year towards the cost of public liability insurance.

So the system works well – until something goes wrong.

Mr McKay, who has lived in the road for five years, said: “If the main sewer went, that would be a huge expense.”

For that reason alone – the difficulty of digging up the entire road to search for a fault in the sewers – he would not recommend the scheme.

When the residents attempted to get Oxfordshire County Council to adopt the road some years ago, the council declined the offer, saying the road would need work on it to bring it up to county standard. David Kay, who has lived in the road since 1989, said: “Everyone who moves into the road knows there is something funny about it because it’s not got Tarmac on it.

“It is actually quite nice filling it in every now and then.

“It works for us.”

Potholes on authority-owned roads cost Oxfordshire County Council about £5million a year.

Our top stories:

Our care cost quadrupled: I just thought they‘d made a mistake

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 3rd July 2015

DISABLED people are said to be living in fear of more cuts to their care and benefits as they struggle to cope with government changes.

Comedians hit the stage for The Producers

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 3rd July 2015

COMEDIANS Jason Manford and Ross Noble have swapped stand-up for singing in a musical at Oxford’s New Theatre.

Widower pledges support to hospice in his wife’s memory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

A HUSBAND who lost his wife to cancer just weeks ago has vowed to support the hospice which cared for her in her final days.

It’s Hertford College, but not quite as we know it

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

SOME people build Lego space ships or cars but one rather unusual creation popped up in Oxford this week in the form of Hertford College.

MP Nicola Blackwood calls for an inquiry on ambulance allegations

Oxford Mail: Nicola Blackwood MP

7:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

ALLEGATIONS that call centre staff denied patients ambulances even when they were experiencing heart attack symptoms should be fully investigated, according to MP Nicola Blackwood.

City turns into Wonderland to celebrate Alice’s big birthday

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

ALICE’S Day is here again and this time it will be even more spectacular than usual, marking 150 years since the publication of the first Alice in Wonderland story.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:04pm Wed 18 Jun 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

good on em
good on em yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree