Resurfacing East Sussex roads ‘like painting Forth Bridge’

Highways crews in East Sussex have resurfaced roads equivalent to an area of more than 75 football pitches in the past year, new figures reveal.

East Sussex County Council’s highways department has completed a total length of around 50 miles of road – equivalent to the entire southern coast of the county from Peacehaven to Camber.

The figures released by the authority for the financial year from April 2012 show 550,000 sq m of road have been resurfaced – the same area as 76 UEFA standard football pitches.

Roger Williams, the authority’s head of highways, said keeping the county’s roads in good shape was a ceaseless task.

He said: “It’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge because as soon as you’ve resurfaced a stretch of road, it begins to deteriorate again due to the number of vehicles which travel along it.”

The council uses specially-equipped lorries to carry out mechanical surveys of the county’s 2,000 miles of road, and using the data collected along with reports from members of the public, prioritises highways in most urgent need of repair.

Mr Williams said: “The mechanical surveys, along with the information people provide us with, help us to build up a picture of the state of our roads and the ones which are most in need of repair are dealt with first.”

Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment, said: “Taking a systematic approach to maintaining our roads and nipping any problems in the bud before the road deteriorates further saves the council money in the long run.”

Resurfacing schemes carried out during the year include a major project to resurface a 10-mile stretch of the A22 between Uckfield and Polegate, including the current work on the Hailsham bypass.

Jobs also included resurfacing work on the coastal A259 at Friston and East Dean, the A272 Haywards Heath Road from North Chailey to Chailey and roads in Hastings and Eastbourne.

Motorists can keep abreast of ongoing roadworks in the county on the county council’s highways Twitter feed @esccroads and can use our reporting system here: