Elderly folk left out of city road improvements

Residents of Newgate Close High Green who are upset by potholes appearing in their unadopted road.

 Image � Paul David Drabble

Residents of Newgate Close High Green who are upset by potholes appearing in their unadopted road. Image � Paul David Drabble

  • by Molly Lynch

A group of elderly residents are demanding answers after being left out of a multi-million pound scheme to improve Sheffield’s roads.

Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead programme has left Newgate Close, High Green, behind because it counts as ‘unadopted’ land.

More than 80 residents from the sheltered accommodation have now signed a petition calling for the pothole-infested roads surrounding their homes to be resurfaced to bring it in line with the rest of the city.

But the council has refused, saying it would count as major unplanned work not budgeted for.

Joan Ashton, aged 75, of Newgate Close, said: “We just want what the rest of Sheffield is getting.”

Unadopted land counts as a road or driveway on privately-owned property and is limited to the use of the owners who share maintenance of the road without help from a government agency.

Despite the fact Newgate Close is home to council-run social housing for over-50s, the council says it is not responsible for the land.

District nurses, doctors and care workers are frequently forced to contend with potholes and the poor condition of the road.

The road is also not eligible for gritting – meaning residents are forced to rely on the goodwill of the community to clear snow and ice.

Joan, who lives with husband Ronald, 78, said: “It’s an absolute farce. Because someone forgot to sign a piece of paper or hand it over properly years ago the residents of Newgate Close have to suffer.

“We’ve got people living here who are over 90 and there’s a lot of over 80s too. It’s not fair that we are being left out of this.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are currently a year into the biggest roads maintenance programme in the country that will transform the condition of our roads.

“We are undertaking a review of all unadopted roads in the city that the council is responsible for, including Newgate Close, with a view to bringing them up to the same standard.

“At the moment, Newgate Close is unadopted. The government’s current rules mean that the project only operates on adopted roads and we are pressing the government over this issue.

“In the meantime, we will continue to make sure this road is well maintained and gives residents safe access to their homes.”




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