Road bosses have been told to ‘get on with it’ after comparisons were drawn between some Oxford roads and those in poor and developing countries.
The Green Party’s damming appraisal comes as Oxford City Council takes over responsibility for repair of major roads from Oxfordshire County Council.
A team of councillors and volunteers found more than 20 ‘serious’ potholes, which they consider would cause a cyclist to fall and/or damage a bike, when they surveyed Cowley Road – the most cycled street in Oxford.
Dick Wolff, the city’s transport shadow spokesperson for the Greens, said: “In my youth I travelled overseas and saw roads like this in poor, developing nations.
“I never expected, in 2018, to be seeing the same sort of crumbling tarmac in Oxford.”
The city council refused to comment due to purdah ahead of next month’s elections, but said it stands by its claims made when the new agreement was announced last month.
This includes delivering a more ‘efficient’ service to deal with road maintenance, especially problematic potholes.
Previously, the county council was responsible for maintaining main roads while the city council would keep minor roads in order.
The city council is now acting on the county council’s behalf to carry out all work in Oxford.
The city council’s board member for planning and regulatory services, Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, said the restructure would provide a ‘more efficient and better value’ service.
He added: “[We] will have greater involvement in prioritising work to better reflect local needs and…we can offer Oxfordshire County Council and taxpayers better value for money.
“This new agreement will see a more seamless, simplified, delivery of highways services.”
The city council’s portfolio now includes fixing potholes, cleaning and repairing drainage gullies, replacing worn lines and damaged signs and providing an emergency response to ‘high priority’ problems. It will also carry out more planned maintenance.
Every problem reported through fixmystreet.oxfordshire.gov.uk now goes directly to the city council, which would then inspect and carry out repairs if needed.
Cllr Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment and economy at the county council, said the agreement would “help get the best out of the limited resources we have available for fixing our roads”.