Questions have been raised over Wiltshire Council’s £150 million highways contract, following weeks of delays and postponements to routine road maintenance.
Balfour Beatty Living Places took over the county’s grass cutting, litter collection and street lighting on June 1. Since then there have been claims verges have grown to dangerous levels and roads remain unswept.
Wiltshire Cllr Jeff Osborn said: “The grass verges are unbelievable. If you have got a contract it’s up to the contractor to fulfil his obligations, so when this little storm is over the question still remains; is this contract up to specification?”
Overgrown verges have also been reported in Semington, Melksham and Bratton, while business owners in Trowbridge have been sweeping their own streets.
Vanessa Petrie, of Manor Fields, Bratton, said: “Children can hide in the grass – it’s that long – and there are some roundabouts where the grass is so long that you can’t see around them for oncoming traffic. ”
Michael Lojko, owner of The Old Sweet Works antique shop on Church Street, Trowbridge said: “The dust and grime is everywhere with the traffic coming up and down, and there’s been no one doing the roads. Once you get debris building up it all blows inside the shop.”
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “There has obviously been a delay, but BBLP are up and running now. There have been challenges, but I am very pleased they are getting to grips with it. If there are areas people are concerned about, do let us know.”
Leanne Lamberton of Balfour Beatty Living Places said: “We have assigned a large team to work extended hours to reduce the backlog of work required. We expect to be back on schedule with the grass cutting programme by the end of next week.”