Residents 'fobbed off by botched job'
RESIDENTS in Lockleaze have accused the council of using a "cheap and nasty" new method of road surfacing to control vibrations on a 500 meter stretch of a new bus route.
The £151,000 project has also been criticised by Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie who has threatened to take the "botched job" to parliament.
The council plans to lay the new "crack and seat" surface solely over the top end of the concrete Romney Avenue.
The route makes up part of a controversial new bus link to UWE's Frenchay campus, which has been the focal point of a vociferous campaign over the vibrations felt by homes when heavy vehicles go past.
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But the latest solution reached by Bristol City Council has caused further unrest with people living on the road who say the new method is "untested".
Martyn Chinn, chairman of Lockleaze Voice and the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Development Forum, claimed he was told by a council officer that the new technique did not use an "approved methodology".
He said: "To me, this is an experimental process with no long term proof at all. I have even been told that in some cases it has failed."
Crack and seat resurfacing means the concrete road slabs are cracked and seated back onto the sub-base, before being laid with new asphalt.
Mr Chinn said the way the new surface was laid on top of the old concrete could create problems, especially considering the clay underneath.
He also accused the council of not consulting residents properly and demanded the project is put on hold.
He said: "The whole process needs to be looked at again and if it is deemed to be OK, we need to be consulted about the changes.
"If it does go ahead it should be for all the concrete roads in Lockleaze otherwise it's discriminatory."
Charlotte Leslie MP backed the residents who she believes are being "fobbed off with second or third best".
She said: "This road-laying technique seems to be under-tested. It is also not yet clear if it is approved by British building standards and this easily gives the impression that Lockleaze is being asked to accept a botched job on its roads or to be a guinea-pig on the cheap for an unproven technique."
Bristol City Council defended the new improvements.
Spokeswoman Kate Hartas said: "The bus link is vitally important to serve new housing developments and to ensure new and existing residents can easily access jobs in the city centre and the North Fringe.
"Residents in the area have been concerned about a new bus service using a new route with a noisy slab concrete road, so the council has agreed to use a tried and tested solution to make it quieter.
"The council has researched the engineering of the treatment in a variety of settings as, far from being untested, it is used widely by councils across the UK. Officers are confident that it is a very good solution to the specific problem at this location."
She added that funds did not permit the expansion of the project to cover all of Lockleaze.