A PENSIONER splashed out more than £4k to fix her pothole-strewn street – despite not driving or owning a car.
Elizabeth Williams, 89, forked out thousands of her own money after growing fed up with the company that is supposed to maintain the road, Kingston Property Services.
Wyncote Court in Newcastle-upon-Tyne was in such a state that one resident even said “there was as much pothole as road”.
Frustrated locals say drivers were mounting the pavement to avoid metre-wide craters blocking their path.
Not only could the dangerous driving cause damage to paving slabs – affecting house prices – but residents mostly feared someone could get hit.
Kingston Property Services is the managing agent responsible for keeping the roads at Wyncote Court in good condition.
Leasholders pay a service charge, which includes money towards maintaining the communal areas and roads – a management fee within this service charge is paid to Kingston.
But the road’s shocking disrepair prompted Elizabeth, a resident for 22 years, to take matters into her own hands.
Now the work has been completed, her neighbours have hailed her as a local hero.
Elizabeth said: “I feel great about it now but it was awful – I was so bloody fed up. The potholes were absolutely dreadful.
“I just wanted to do something about it. I thought, ‘b****r it – I’m just going to do it’. It’s also a gift to my neighbours, who are very nice, and to our estate.
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“I’m mad with Kingston. It’s their duty to do it. It’s a disgrace – I’ve been furious with them for at least four years.”
Elizabeth says she and other locals had been consistently emailing, phoning and writing letters to the company about the 120-yard stretch.
Residents on the road, which features 38 houses, even reckon the management company was receiving at least one email or letter every week desperately pleading for repairs.
It was the last straw for Elizabeth when a manager from the company told her in January they couldn’t get a contractor to do the work.
She decided to find the work herself and says she managed to secure three quotes in just one week.
Elizabeth claims she then offered for Kingston to take on the contract after getting the quote on January 19.
But she says a manager told her the company would have to register with them and then wouldn’t be guaranteed to be given the job.
Elizabeth said: “We were being pushed around by them and they weren’t keeping the road good for us, which is what their lease requires them to do.
“For years they’ve done less and less and less. People wouldn’t come down the road – it was embarrassing and made the estate look like a dead-end sort of place.
“It was increasingly irritating watching cars go round the potholes and thinking that an ambulance or delivery van would get damaged.
“Then they would have got a payout from Kingston – and ultimately that would have fallen on us.”
Elizabeth says she hasn’t asked for any contributions from the community, but other residents have since pledged to help.
One neighbour, Camilla Fox, 55, a film location manager, said: “Elizabeth has been out there in the rain sorting this out – when she should be enjoying her retirement.”
Another Jonathan Netts, 56, a property worker, said: “It was horrible – there was as much pothole as road. I could hear cars bumping over them all the time.
“We just couldn’t see a way forward, but Elizabeth is a hero – she just did it. She’s amazing, nobody wanted it to happen this way but we’re so grateful to her.”
Carly Waller, Director of Kingston Block Management said: “Kingston is the managing agent and responsible for approving contractors to carry out maintenance to roads at these premises.
“A large project to fully resurface all roads was in the planning stages which includes letting leaseholders know of our plans.
“There were delays in obtaining quotes for this work due to unavailability of contractors and materials which meant we couldn’t start the work as quickly as we wanted to.
“Leaseholders can nominate their own contractors to carry out the work and we asked the leaseholder for details of the contractor so we could contact them to consider their costs.
“We did not receive those details.
“We are still planning to carry out a full resurface of the road as soon as possible as some pot holes still remain.
“The leaseholder has been reimbursed in full for the work she paid for.”