Road re-surfacing in Hampstead a ”complete waste of time”

�A Hampstead resident has criticised Camden Council for re-surfacing a road which did not need improving to a standard that Formula One boss Bernie Eccelstone ‘‘would be jealous of”.

Community campaigner Farokh Khorooshi, who lives in Fitzjohn’s Avenue, says that the council has squandered taxpayers’ money by re-surfacing the lower end of the road near his home.

He said it was wrong for the local authority to be splurging cash on tarmac while making cuts to other frontline services.

“We’re being told there is no money,” Mr Khorooshi said. “It’s a time of austerity and cuts and here we are looking at a perfectly serviceable road which has barely got any cracks, being re-surfaced to a standard that Bernie Ecclestone would be jealous of.”

Mr Khorooshi, who is chairman of Red Frog residents’ association, said that there were other roads in Hampstead – such as Downshire Hill and Nutley Terrace – which are plagued with potholes and would be more deserving of the cash.

“You can find potholes that you’d lose a tank in on Downshire Hill and Nutley Terrace – and here the council is re-surfacing Fitzjohn’s Avenue,” he added.

The works have caused disruption to residents because parking bays have been suspended while they are carried out.

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Mr Khorooshi is also concerned that the newly smoothed road will encourage drivers to speed along Fitzjohn’s Avenue, which runs from Hampstead village to Swiss Cottage.

“Camden should take a leaf out of California’s book, where the government has started painting fake potholes on the road to slow drivers down,” he said.

However, not everyone opposed the works. Veteran milkman Ron Pluckrose, 78, said that the top part of Fitzjohn’s Avenue – from Heath Street to Lyndhurst Gardens – does need doing.

“The top end is really bad,” he said. “I use it three or four times a day and it’s really rough. The float takes a hell of a pounding. It ain’t got no suspension like a car. I’m glad they’re re-surfacing it.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We have been informed by independent surveys that over 60 per cent of Fitzjohn’s Avenue is not up to acceptable condition, prompting the latest resurfacing of the most problematic sections of the road.

“The council agree that Nutley Terrace and Downshire Hill are in poor condition and have already been scheduled for resurfacing work over the next few months.”

She said the council was unable to say how much the work would cost.