Pensioner paying price of potholes

editorial image

An elderly woman has been filling in potholes in the street she lives in and buying the materials out of her own pocket.

Phyllis Raubenheimer will soon celebrate her 80th birthday and is fuming that neighbouring roads on the Mildenhall Road Estate - Norman and Philip – have been adopted by Suffolk County Council, while Rosemary Road has not and remains rutted with potholes.

It is understood that for the council to adopt it the Bury St Edmunds residents would first have to pay up to £25,000 each to bring it up to standard.

Mrs Raubenheimer, who has spent £300 on road filler to shovel into the worst holes, said: “I haven’t got that sort of money lying around.

“Who do they think I am, Mrs Rockefeller, Mrs Cameron or Mrs Ruffley?”

Her neighbour Chrissy Tompsett, 75, said the road was ‘quite dangerous’, especially in winter when the deep water-filled ruts become icy.

Mark Ereira-Guyer, county councillor for the Tower division, has taken the matter up with the council and said: “My understanding is when that housing was developed in the 1920s/30s the developer was due to make it into a road, as with all housing estate developers, and then the council adopts it as standard.”

He said the road was an ‘eccentric anomaly that needs to be put right’.

Mrs Raubenhemier says the council could use materials on Rosemary Road that are left over from work on other roads. She said: “I feel very bitter that the council is dumping hundreds of tonnes of stuff that could be used on this road and I think it’s a disgrace. They should hang their heads in shame, every one of them.”

She added: “I pay my full rates and taxes. The only service we get is one light and the rubbish bins collected, but the rubbish trucks are so heavy that when they come they churn up the road.”

Cllr Ereira-Guyer said: “My understanding is there will be a significant cost in creating a road. I have been provided figures by the council of a quarter of a million pounds.

“For me, that seems rather excessive and I want to examine those figures and see how we can reduce that cost and still give the residents what they need. I don’t think it’s fair for the residents to pay for the sins of generations ago.”

The council says Norman and Philip Road were adopted as access roads but Rosemary Road is a cul-de-sac.