A Conservative County Councillor has joined Usk residents in the criticism of the poor quality of recent pothole repairs in the town.  Cllr Tony Kear, member for Llanbadoc and Usk ward last year lobbied Monmouthshire County Council to look at more cost-effective ways to repair potholes.

 In July 2023, Cllr Kear helped arrange a two-day trial road demonstration of the JCB Pothole Pro machine after receiving a positive recommendation from Stoke-on-Trent Council.  No one from the Council’s Labour administration attended the trial. 

 Cllr Kear commented, “My inbox is inundated about the state of roads and the quality of the repairs which appear rushed and very uneven.  Two large pot holes opposite Usk Primary School have been repaired on three occasions in 10 weeks.  One resident says he has been emailing MCC for four years about a blocked drain which has led to debris hitting his window.  That can’t be right.”

 “Rural area roadsare showing significant deterioration with complaints of tyre and wheel rim damage by potholes filled by heavy rain and hidden by unlit roads.”

 “In Usk, the bone shaking Chepstow Road is considered a non priority and the junction of the A472 with Porthycarne Street is a horrendous patchwork of repairs on such a busy road.  It looks a dreadful mess and the uneven patching poses risks for cyclists on a well-used route to our cafe culture hospitality outlets that Usk prides itself on”. 

 “But the real clear messages of complaint I’m getting is one that it’s economically unsustainable to repeatedly patch the same potholes instead of doing a more thorough repair.  There has to be a change of approach and budget with proactive planning and better use of taxpayers’ money.  My Neighbouring ward member Cllr Fay Bromfield raised this topic with the Cabinet Member at the last Full Council and despite a new assessment and prioritisation process being headlined, a request to see full details and the list of works, nothing has been forthcoming. 

 “ Residents want to see what their 7.8% rise in their council tax is bringing.  It can’t be more of the same – I’m disappointed the Council’s administration won’t make proper investments in fixing our roads.”