Concern has been raised that Oxfordshire residents may feel brushed off with no further action taken on more than half of reported road defects.
Statistics showed that 36,845 reports were made to Oxfordshire County Council via the FixMyStreet website in the year up to the end of August 2022. The platform collates such complaints and sends them through to the relevant local authority based on location.
Councillor Ted Fenton (Con, Witney West & Bampton) asked how many road defects had been marked for no further action the first time around and was presented with a figure of 58.25 per cent.
In a follow-up question to the county’s cabinet member for highway management, Councillor Andrew Gant (Lib Dem, Wolvercote & Summertown), Councillor Fenton asked: “I wonder whether you agree with me that the figure of more than 58 per cent of first responses on FixMyStreet being no further action is something that causes frustration for residents who report what they perceive to be defects.
“I know it is difficult because it is not a council-controlled application, but would he encourage officers to press for a better answer, or at least an explanation, as to why many people who report a defect in the road seem to be dismissed out of hand at the first time of asking?”
Councillor Gant said the volume of users “shows a system that is working well” but acknowledged that “a very big number” is marked for no further action.
He added: “It means that 42 per cent do get immediate action, and of course, no further action doesn’t mean no action ever. It just means it is not at the top of the priority list now.
“Officers work incredibly hard to triage this daily torrent of requests that come in, prioritise and make the best use of extremely scarce resources to keep our highways safe and in good repair.
“Whether no further action is the best form of words, I think you make a very good point, and I am happy to take that away.”