CLAIMS Ledbury is not a priority for fixing potholes have been denied by Herefordshire Council.

Problem areas for potholes and road surfaces highlighted by motorists include the Homend from Orchard Lane to Ledbury train station, which is the main drag through town. It has had no significant repairs for three years.

Posting on the Voice of Ledbury Facebook site, former town councillor Bob Barnes said: "Orchard Lane to the station – three years without action, that's pathetic."

Elaine Plumer added: "The state of the road by Ledbury train station is appalling."

While Gary Troy said: "This is really disappointing. Where does our road fund license actually go? If it’s not on road maintenance it should be withdrawn. If it is spent on the roads it should be accounted for.

"This is becoming a national embarrassment as EU rods are almost perfect by comparison."

Other residents say that footpaths are also a hazard in Ledbury.

Jenny Price said: "It's not just roads, it's the pavements, they are lethal."

Town and county councillor Liz Harvey said Ledbury roads may not be a priority for the county council's contractor, Balfour Beatty, because of low speed limits.

Cllr Harvey said: "Apparently one of the assessment criteria Balfour Beatty use to prioritise road repairs in their annual plan relates to traffic speed. This automatically downgrades the calculated priority of all road repairs in urban areas where 30mph or less limits are in force.

"No wonder the market town roads have had few resurfacing projects approved since Balfour Beatty became the council's contractors."

But Cllr Harvey said this might be about to change.

She added: "The new administration is changing the assessment criteria to ensure urban road programmes are properly prioritised in future."

Cllr Harvey's points were put to Herefordshire Council for a comment but no official statement was provided before the Reporter went to press.

However, the Reporter did receive confirmation that the county council is "refining its maintenance plan" – but "no significant changes are expected", and a spokesman said that roads with lower speed limits were not being given lower priority when it came to pothole repairs.

Last year, extra repair funding from the government of £1.25million was received by Herefordshire Council, for roads badly affected by severe weather.

At the time, March 2018, the council said the extra money could help to fill the equivalent of 23,000 potholes "and build in protection to help make the county’s roads more resistant to future severe weather". Since then extensive work has been ongoing.

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said: “The council, with our partners Balfour Beatty, are committed to ensuring the safety of roads and other public spaces in Herefordshire. We fixed more than 32,000 defects and potholes last year, across our 2,020 mile network.

"In Ledbury, some 374 road defects have been fixed since January. Some roads in Ledbury have been surface dressed as part of a county-wide programme to improve 126 stretches of road across the county between May and July this year.

"A spray-patching machine has also visited the area, including small lanes around Storesbrook following a successful bridge installation earlier this year."