Article by Guy Bell: A professional and persistent pothole campaigner has won his latest fight against a hole plaguing a primary school.
Terence Gandy has worked tirelessly to rid Billericay's streets of the concrete craters and has now been thanked by Buttsbury Junior School after the repair.
Parents faced a bumpy ride as they dropped off their children at the school in Norsey View Drive but they can now enjoy a smooth start to term.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Gandy"]The red markers went down around the potholes and I got in touch with highways again and gave them a date of when the schools return. I told them I recommended they get the pothole fixed before school starts, otherwise it is going to be chaos. They said if they couldn't get the full job done before the schools went back then they would patch it up.[/quote]
The hole in the road was earmarked by Essex County Council for a repair in March but it was not made a priority and gradually worsened.
Mr Gandy continued to bombard authorities until they solved the problem on September 2 before schoolchildren returned for the new term.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Gandy"]They managed to complete it the day before school started again.
"Both potholes were fixed and the areas around it and they put a proper surface on it too. I penned a letter to the head teacher and she kindly sent a letter back saying thank you for what I was doing.[/quote]
Atridge Chase had a similar issue with multiple potholes blighting drivers until Mr Gandy worked alongside the Gazette to force an improvement.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Gandy"]It is a good idea to use the press because it puts the powers-that-be under pressure. This happened in Atridge Chase when I wrote to the ombudsman. Because of that pressure and the story in the Gazette, highways and Essex County Council probably thought it would be best they did something. You have just got to keep on at these people.[/quote]
The head teacher at Buttsbury Junior School, Ann Robinson, said her complaints had fallen on deaf ears until Mr Gandy stepped in.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mrs Robinson"]It was a huge pothole. Every time you went out of the school driveway the car would dip down into it. I had to report it to the council on their website myself and I had no response at all. I guess it wasn't high on their agenda at the time.[/quote]
Children faced a dangerous walk home at peak times, as vehicles took measures to avoid the crevice.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mrs Robinson"]The pothole being there was not good for when children are around because people try to swerve it to miss it and go onto the other side of the road. It was there for months, probably well before March. Terence Gandy obviously has an excellent reputation and he has more of an influence than us. He wrote to me before it was fixed and then I wrote to him to say thank you.[/quote]
Article and image by Ongar Gazette, Guy Bell