Potholes on 'London's worst road' so bad emergency vehicles refuse to drive down it

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Renters and homeowners on the Commonside East in Mitcham say the potholes are so bad that emergency vehicles and bin men refuse to use it.

Furious residents living on what may be London’s worst road have revealed their cavernous potholes are so bad that emergency vehicles and bin men refuse to use it.

Renters and homeowners on the Commonside East in Mitcham, southeast London, say the road - which more closely resembles a tank track than a street - is in such bad condition they’re regularly forced to fork out thousands to repair their cars.

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But they're stuck in limbo as the road is privately owned and the owners say they are under no obligation to repair it.

The local council say they will adopt it and maintain it once it is fixed, leaving residents needing around £500,000 to repair it.

Potholes on Commonside East in MitchamPotholes on Commonside East in Mitcham
Potholes on Commonside East in Mitcham | SWNS

The shoddy upkeep of the road has also even made it a target for fly-tipping and residents have to take all their rubbish to and from the street entrance on bin days as the trucks won't drive down there.

The street is opposite Mitcham Common and is owned by cash-strapped Mitcham Common Conservators (MCC) who regard the street as a ‘track’ rather than a road.

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Residents also fear the road detrimentally affects the price of their houses, which have sold in years gone by for more than £500,000.

Homeowner Tania Marszalek says the dangerously deep potholes cause constant misery in her day-to-day life.

“Ambulances and refuse people can’t get down here,” the 42-year old said.

“The council have said they’d be happy to adopt the road if we made it roadworthy.

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“That would cost about half a million pounds. Most people are renting, and we don’t have that sort of money.

“It’s grim. It’s really depressing when you look out of your window and see puddles every day.

“Some delivery people say, ‘I’m from Africa and our roads are much better than this’.

“It’s like tank tracks. I just want to get a digger and scrape the road flat - but the cost quoted for that was £35,000."

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Ms Marszalek, a medical communications director who bought her home in 2016, said many residents had bought 4x4 cars to navigate the potholes, which were making the road even worse.

“My neighbour found it hard to get a mortgage because of the state of the road," she said.

“It’s not really fair. Over the years we’ve had numerous legal advice and there's nothing we can do.

“And because it looks so bad people have started fly-tipping. People see it as a sort of dumping ground.

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“We shouldn’t be living like this. This is Zone 3. I’ve never seen a worse street.

“This could be London’s worst street. It’s just gross.”

Siobhain McDonagh, the Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, described the problem as a ‘dilemma’ she’d tried to tackle in the past, and suggested the City of London Corporation could be a potential organisation to fit the bill for the costly repairs.

“It’s a challenge,” she said. “It’s a really big issue. It’s hard to think it would cost so much but the work’s so expensive.

“I have in the past tried to contact the City of London.

"I didn’t manage to make a lot of progress with that, but if the residents would like me to, I’m more than happy to try again.”

MCC has been contacted for comment but has so far not responded.

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