Birmingham’s £2.7 billion road repairs contractor has been accused of cutting corners on pavement repairs which do not last.
A city councillor claims that new slabs have broken within weeks of being laid as they are not fit to take the weight of vehicles, while other roads are a patchwork of bitumen, slabs and broken pavements.
But Amey, which is responsible for fixing Birmingham’s roads until 2035, says that in many cases only patching or partial repair is needed to bring a pavement up to scratch.
Coun Reg Corns (Cons, Northfield) said that he has been concerned at the repairs, particularly those carried out on Houldey Road.
He said: “I find many odd patches of bitumen for no reason. Places where old broken slabs are still in position and where new slabs were used, some were already broken.
He says that the contract was sold to councillors as the chance to renew all Birmingham’s crumbling roads and pavements.
“This is not the contract that was promised to us. At no time did I understand it was simply a case of repair and make good or the like.
He added that as long as it is not illegal for vehicles to mount pavements, then slabs used should be able to take their weight.
But a spokeswoman for Amey said that footpaths simply need to be brought up to an ‘acceptable standard’.
She said: “When a footpath is identified as needing either full or partial repairs, highway designers and works supervisors walk the length of the footway before deciding the most appropriate treatment type and material for the footpath in question.
“In some cases only patching, or a partial repair, is required in order to bring the footway up to an acceptable standard.
“With regards to Houldey Road, Amey managers inspected the finished work. The quality of workmanship on the areas which have been completed is to a high standard.
“The footpath was not in need of full reconstruction and so vehicle crossings were reconstructed with asphalt, to withstand cars crossing it to access driveways as flagstones can be damaged by cars crossing them. In other areas in the road, the pavement slabs were replaced on a like-for-like basis but these can be damaged if people park illegally on the pavement.”