Roads in Langham, apart from the A12, any unclassified, Private or yet to be adopted streets or roads, are the responsibility of Essex County Council highway authority. A description of the types of issues and treatments follows with a link to the Essex County Council highway authority website for reporting any observed issues.
A pothole is a hole in the road that is deeper than 50mm and 100mm across in two directions at right angles to each other (perpendicular). They are usually formed during the winter months as a direct result of snow, ice and prolonged periods of rain and occur where an area of the road’s surface has broken up and fallen out.
Essex County Council highway authority carry out regular inspections of the roads but also rely on the public reporting potholes to them. They inspect all reported potholes and risk assess them to prioritise their repair. They will either be classed as urgent or will be put into a planned programme of works to ensure they are repaired as efficiently as possible. The assessment will take into account many issues including the location of the pothole in the road and the type of vehicle that uses the road such as cars, motorbikes or pedal bikes.
Recorded defects are risk assessed during the inspection on a site specific basis. This allows other considerations that the inspector feels relevant to be factored into the risk assessment and is used to determine the level of response.
The vast majority of reported potholes are not assessed as urgent and are put into a programme of work. Following the risk assessment, the pothole will be categorised from Priority 1 (S1) to Priority 4 (S4). The timescale for the repair depends on the risk assessment and which type of road the pothole is on – County Routes (A, B and some C roads) and Local Roads (majority of C and unclassified roads).
Road Surface treatment
Over time, road surfaces become worn out due to the volume of traffic that use them and the different extremes of weather that affect them. Different surface treatments are used according to all the circumstances of the road, such as the current condition, how busy the road is and the most efficient treatment for the future, how many years of good condition will result from the money spent on the treatment.
Surface Dressing is used where the surface is in reasonably good condition, but needs some quick, overall improvement which can last up to ten years. A large area can be covered very quickly at relatively low cost using this technique. Surface Dressing is used on most of County Highway’s surfacing programme.
Surface dressing takes place during the Spring and Summer months, although preparation works (patching etc) is carried out all year round. The treatment involved is sensitive to weather that is too cold, hot or wet, so sometimes the dates for this work can change at short notice.
Firstly any potholes or other defects are patched and the surface made level. Then the existing road surface is sprayed with a coating of hot bitumen and cover it is covered with stone chippings. The chippings are rolled into the bitumen to form a water-resistant protective layer which makes the road less slippery and extends its life.
As soon as the bitumen has set, the road is swept to remove any loose chippings but the nature of the treatment means there will be some loose chippings on the road surface until it beds down. 20mph speed limit temporary warning signs will be visible to alert drivers, as vehicles using the new surface help to embed the loose chippings.
Micro-surfacing is a slightly more durable and more expensive process which places a thin layer of
a complete new surface on the road. It takes longer to cover a given area than Surface Dressing, but is used where roads are busier and the road needs more levelling off.
Resurfacing is where the existing surface is removed and completely new depth of surface is laid as a replacement. This treatment is used where the road is badly worn and needs to take perhaps heavy traffic and last a long time. It is expensive and slow.
Recycling is only used in limited areas where the road is very badly out of shape. A very durable new surface can be laid, and logistics make it easier to re-use existing materials rather than bring in new stone. It is marginally more expensive treatment per area covered than resurfacing or other treatment.
Potholes and Road Surface Issues Report a Defect!
Check the progress of an existing query
Essex County Council as the highway authority has a statutory duty to record and keep public rights of way open.
Public rights of way are predominantly rural routes through the countryside. They are all a type of highway and came about through historic usage as routes for farm workers to get to their places of work, for people walking to church or to schools and as tracks to drive livestock to markets. These days they are mostly used for leisure purposes.
They all pass through privately owned land, which is often working farmland so the County Council work closely with the landowners to keep the routes accessible.
Most of these rights of way are rural or form access to rural areas, and so the standard of maintenance would be very basic; ensuring they are safe whilst at the same time protecting the rights of the public to enjoy a rural environment.
Types of Right of Way
There are four types of right of way which have different access rights. Each is maintained with these public rights in mind.
A footpath is a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot only. See the Footpath Map of Langham.
A bridleway is a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot, horseback and on all types of bicycle.
A byway open to all traffic (BOAT) is a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot, horseback or bicycle and by vehicle of all kinds, including horse-drawn and motorised vehicles.
A restricted byway allows right of way on foot, on horseback, riding a bicycle or using any other vehicle that is not mechanically propelled, for example a horse and carriage.
Essex County Council maintenance responsibilities
ECC carry out a number of actions to ensure that Public Rights of Way are kept in good order and undertake to:
- Put fingerposts where paths leave a road
- Waymark path junctions
- Install and repair bridges over waterways
- Maintain the vegetation upgrowth on routes so as not to cause an impassable obstruction (except cross field paths through arable crops where the landowner has a responsibility)
- Repair surfaces
- Remind landowners to keep hedgerows clear from overhanging and obstructing passage along a PROW
- Ensure that the landowner keeps their stiles and gates in good repair and are easy to use
Fingerposts and Waymarkers
Fingerposts are erected where a path leaves a road. Waymarkers are shorter posts with circular disks that direct walkers at junctions with other paths. Where defects are logged regarding either of these they are treated as a low priority and will be repaired or replaced as part of a local planned programme of works. Typically each parish is surveyed in full once every 5 years, when all defects will be picked up by ECC inspection team and jobs raised to replace and repair items as necessary.
Report a Public Right of Way Issue
More information on public rights of way can be found via the following links: https://www.essexhighways.org/transport-and-roads/getting-around/public-rights-of-way.aspx
Provide information on procedures. For Traffic Issues Contact Us
This includes any equipment or street furniture which is owned or maintained by the Parish Council.
- Children’s play area equipment
- Notice boards
- Bus shelter at the Community Centre
- Benches around the village
- Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) in Park Lane
For any of the above damaged items Contact Us.
Flytipping is the illegal dumping of items.
If your waste is fly tipped by you ,or by someone on your behalf, you could face afine or court action. Make sure whoever you use to get rid of your waste and items are a registered waste carrier. You can get further advice here: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
YOU are flytipping if you:
- Leave items beside street bins and recycling banks
- Leave items on the floor of communal bin areas
- Leave items outside closed recycling centres and charity shops
As of 1st July 2021
Fly-tipping is the only crime where the victims (private landowners) have a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste. Under current legislation, landowners can be prosecuted if they fail to remove fly-tipped waste quickly enough.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and clearing up smaller scale fly-tipping on public land and may investigate incidents on private land. However, landowners are still responsible for clearing fly-tipped waste on private land.
In certain circumstances, local authorities and the Environment Agency/Natural Resource Wales have powers to require occupiers and landowners to remove waste from their land. If landowners fail to comply, the local authority and the Environment Agency/Natural Resource Wales have powers to enter the land and clear it and may seek reimbursement for costs related to this.
A number of other powers exist to require the removal of illegally deposited waste, including under:
- Town & Country Planning Act 1990, ss 215–219: Local planning authorities have power to serve a notice on the owner and occupier of land to take steps to remedy the condition of the land where that land is affecting the amenity of a part of their area, or of an adjoining area.
- Public Health Act 1961, Section 34: Local authorities have power to remove any accumulation of rubbish that is in the open air and that it considers is seriously detrimental to the amenities of the neighbourhood. Not less than 28 days before taking any action, the local authority must serve a notice on the owner and occupier of the land stating the steps which they propose to take.
Penalties for fly-tipping
Defra says that tackling fly-tipping “remains a priority”. It has strengthened local authorities’ enforcement powers through fixed-penalty notices and by making it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized.
Householders whose waste ends up being fly-tipped face fines of up to £400. The government introduced new sentencing guidelines in 2014, with a maximum £50,000 fine or 12 months in prison for offenders, if dealt with by a Magistrates’ court. If a case is referred to a Crown court, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to five years, or a potentially unlimited fine.
What to do if it happens to you
Fly-tipping is an illegal waste crime. If you see a fly-tipping incident in progress, call 999 immediately. Do not approach the offenders, but note down how many people are involved, their descriptions and information about any vehicles being used, including the makes, colours, and registration numbers. If it is safe, take photographs.
Farmers can also use the NFU’s Rural Crime Reporting Line, in partnership with Crimestoppers, to provide information about fly-tipping by calling 0800 783 0137 or visiting the dedicated website https://forms.theiline.co.uk/ruralcrimereportingline.
The National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG) recommends the following steps if you find waste dumped on your land:
- Exercise caution. Some fly-tipped waste can be hazardous. Do not open bags or drums and be aware that piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material.
- Record as many details as possible about the waste and when you found it. If possible take a photograph of the waste.
- Report the incident – do not move the waste or remove any evidence from it until the authorities have been notified.
- Secure the waste so that it cannot be interfered with or added to.
- Remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal – they are unlikely to welcome people observing them. Do not put yourself at risk – if fly-tipping is in progress, call 999.
- When arranging for disposal, ensure that you use a registered waste carrier, as if it is dumped elsewhere you could be held responsible and face an unlimited fine.
- Ensure that you get documentation which includes the details of the waste and who is taking it away.
- If you take the waste to a licensed waste site yourself, make sure you are registered as a waste carrier.
- If the waste is hazardous then make sure that it is being carried and disposed of by those licensed to deal with hazardous waste.
- Keep full details of your clearance and disposal costs. Successful prosecution can mean that your costs incurred for the removal of the waste can also be recovered.
You should also contact your local authority and the Environment Agency (EA) – call 0800 80 70 60 – to see if they can offer any help and investigate an incident. You must contact the EA under certain circumstances: if the illegally dumped waste is more than 20 tonnes (about 20cu m); more than 5cu m of fibrous asbestos; more than 75 litres of potentially hazardous waste in drums or containers; or possibly linked to criminal business activity or rural crime.
Top tips to prevent fly-tipping
There are a number of measures farmers and landowners can take to prevent fly-tipping on their land, although it must be acknowledged that stopping a determined waste criminal is very difficult. The National Fly-tipping Prevention Group gives the following tips:
- Restrict access to your land with the installation of gates or barriers, as an example strategically placed earth bunds, tree trunks and boulders.
- Better site management – keep areas tidy and remove fly-tipped waste quickly. Ensure gates are closed and, if possible, locked when not in use.
- Deterrence – this can be in the form of lighting, signage, CCTV or dummy CCTV cameras, security patrols.
- Swiftly clear any waste to remove encouragement for others to add to it.
- Work with others including your neighbours, local businesses and any existing partnerships.
Unfortunately, a lot of parking problems encountered by local residents tend to fall into a category where no laws are being broken and there are no current restrictions in place such as double yellow lines. Parking in restricted areas or zones or dangerous parking is a matter for the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) or the police, respectively. The Parish Council has no official powers for enforcement or any other course of action that is not available to any local resident. The following information may be useful in understanding the current system:
- House of Commons Transport Committee report on Pavement Parking https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmtrans/1982/1982.pdf
- North Essex Parking Partnership for enforcement procedures relating to the parking in restricted areas and the introduction of parking restrictions via Traffic Regulation Orders. The NEPP is a partnership between Essex County highways authority and Colchester Borough Council and it is usual for the Parish Council to be involved in supporting requests for parking restrictions to be put in place.
- Essex Police for enforcement relating to dangerous parking
Cars that are parked dangerously or causing obstructions is a matter for the Police. You can report this matter by calling the non-emergency number for Essex Police on 101.
- Essex County Council highways
If you want to enquire about getting yellow lines put down in a road or reducing the speed limit, this would need to be brought to the attention of Essex County Council highways authority and be supported by the Parish Council.
- Langham Parish Council
Information article from Colchester Borough Council
Access form to report this online to Essex County Council https://forms.essex.gov.uk/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=FHbzVab1vDF&HideAll=1&fs2s=Z3abpgvfXi 1&fs2c=m7U4n7L5hKA&fs2svr=LPA-ESSEXCC