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Anger at shoddy repairs to cracks on Downs pathway in Herne Bay

By Marijke Hall

The Downs pathway, running from Beltinge into Herne Bay, was fixed two weeks ago by workers, who laid asphalt in the large cracks in the surface.

But retiree John Harper, of Coventry Gardens, Beltinge, says it is the worst repair job he has ever seen and is demanding it be done properly.

Cracks on the surface of The Downs pathway between Beltinge and Herne Bay

Cracks on the surface of The Downs pathway between Beltinge and Herne Bay

“I know the council doesn’t have much to spend but this is not a good use of ratepayers’ money,” he said.

“It’s the same as when you’re trying to repair something at home – putting some gaffer tape around it is not going to work, it’s only going to get worse and you’re eventually going to have to fix it properly.

“It’s not rocket science. The tarmac has not even been put down properly.

A close-up of the badly repaired pathway

A close-up of the badly repaired pathway

"It’s very loose – it’s the kind of thing you see in a third world country.

“In these cash-strapped times our council must spend money wisely with a view to getting best value for residents and ratepayers.

“Why then do they allow contractors to get away with what to me looks like the worst, ugliest and most unprofessional tarmac repair job ever?

Cracks on a previous repair of the pathway

Cracks on a previous repair of the pathway

“There is no way this is acceptable and could not possibly pass inspection from anyone worthy of the title of highways manager.

“Whoever signed off this shabby job needs to re-visit and get the job done properly.”

Mr Harper, who moved to the area three months ago with his wife, says he loves Herne Bay but is fed-up of seeing some jobs being done in a sub-standard way.

John Harper says the repairs on The Downs path is “the kind of thing you see in a third world country”

John Harper says the repairs on The Downs path is “the kind of thing you see in a third world country”

“When the council looks at a job they must think 'what are we going to do, how much are we going to spend, when should we sign it off?' – in this case they should say to the contractor, 'we’re not going to pay you unless it’s done properly'.”

Canterbury City Council engineering manager Liam Wooltorton said the work was a temporary repair to remove the trip hazard and make the path safe.

“It will be fully repaired as quickly as possible and we will ensure the work is of the highest standard,” he said.

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