Pond Street potholes causing 'mini earthquake' and 'damage to homes'

Cars drive over the pot holes and patchworked road surface on Pond Street.

Cars drive over the pot holes and patchworked road surface on Pond Street - Credit: Polly Hancock

Pond Street residents say the terrible state of the road is causing a “constant mini-earthquake situation”, causing structural damage to their properties.

Connecting South End Green with Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill, the road runs past the Royal Free Hospital and regularly sees high volumes of traffic and is visibly damaged.

A Camden Council spokesperson said some work has begun this month with further repairs planned.

One resident told the Ham&High: “There is a constant shaking of my house because the road opposite the hospital has so many potholes. The state of the road is so bad that each time a car, or at least a heavy one, passes, the whole house trembles. 

“This is the kind of road that should be resurfaced because it’s in such a key part of Hampstead.” 

Another resident, who has lived on the street for over 25 years, said that it is in the last four years that things have gotten worse.  

They said: “In the back of the house, when you’re lying in bed, the windows shake. You feel like the house is going to collapse sometimes.” 

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Cracks have begun appearing all over the property, something they claim is due to the shaking from the traffic going over the potholes.  

They said: “The windows have moved so much there’s a draught coming in, and the doors sometimes can’t open because everything is turning and twisting constantly.” 

A surveyor recently visited the property, and the resident  said they were told the state of the road and the speed at which vehicles were travelling had likely contributed to the structural damage. 

Another resident said: “It’s gotten to the point where sitting on the bench in the kitchen, I will start vibrating if traffic goes up the road, which never was a problem before."

They added that they were experiencing issues with “vibrations from larger vehicles, buses, small vans and stuff hitting the potholes”. 

On the damage to their house, they said: “It’s not big cracks, but cracks in the plaster that I think have been caused by this problem.” 

Residents believe the lack of speed cameras and a new zebra crossing, which has resulted in vehicles accelerating from the crossing up the hill, are contributing to the issues. 

Each resident this paper spoke to said they had tried contacting the council to get the potholes resurfaced, but to no avail. 

One said: “Basically, it’s a full-time job to try and get someone on the phone. I was there for over an hour to try and get someone to reply. 

"This is a major problem now. It has to be done properly, and it is a priority issue.” 

Another said their family had written to the council on numerous occasions, but that nothing had been done. 

While one resident said they were able to get in touch with the council a couple of years ago, due to a big pothole outside their house, the fix was only temporary. 

It is not just the monetary cost either, they say, with the historical value of properties along the road also a consideration. 

“These are listed buildings, we pay very high tax, to get ignored," one resident said, adding: “I don’t understand why they (Camden Council) don’t do anything.” 

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “We have been working to repair the road surface on Pond Street this week [week commencing January 10], with sections already completed and further repairs planned to start soon. 

“A section of Pond Street was also resurfaced in November 2020 and – while we are continuing to undertake further repairs and inspecting the road each month for defects – we are taking extra consideration at this time to not disrupt access to the Royal Free Hospital, including access to the emergency department, through road closures.” 

One resident told the Ham&High they were amazed as to how the situation has gotten so bad. 

“Living here is living through a constant mini-earthquake", they said. “It isn’t every hour, it’s throughout.  

“I just don’t understand how this can be taking place in London, let alone in Hampstead.”