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:

‘New £9.2m Leys pool’s too small for contests’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th December 2014

SWIMMING competitions planned for the new £9.2m pool in Blackbird Leys could be at risk due to lack of space, it has been warned.

Six 'all clear' women told they have cancer after investigation into Oxfordshire Breast Screening Service assessments

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Thursday 18th December 2014

SIX women who were given the all clear after breast cancer screening have been told they have the disease following an investigation.

Crash involving car and cyclist closes road in Blackbird Leys

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:30pm Thursday 18th December 2014

A collision involving a cyclist and a car has taken place in Blackbird Leys, closing a road.

Man 'exposed himself' to woman at bus stop in St Clement's

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:02am Thursday 18th December 2014

A MAN who exposed himself to a woman in Headington is being sought by police.

Voting public save the Jack FM Christmas turkeys from being butchered

Oxford Mail:

10:04am Thursday 18th December 2014

THE FATE of two turkeys on an Oxfordshire farm this Christmas was decided by an online poll by radio station JACKfm.

Oxford United's young guns relishing Manchester City clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).

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