Bruised sisters want an end to their pothole mishaps

Lee Douglas with his daughters Molly, five, and Maggie, two, who keep falling off their bikes due to large potholes in the road outside their house in Shop Row, Houghton - Le - Spring.
Lee Douglas with his daughters Molly, five, and Maggie, two, who keep falling off their bikes due to large potholes in the road outside their house in Shop Row, Houghton - Le - Spring.
0
Have your say

BRUISED but unbowed, youngsters Molly and Maggie Douglas have vowed to pedal on despite their street being blighted with potholes.

The battered pair have endured a string of misshaps since Shop Row, in Philadelphia, Houghton, became an “obstacle course” for bike riders. Concerned dad Lee, 31, said daughters Molly, five, and Maggie, two, have suffered dozens of cuts, bumps and bruises in recent months as the road continues to deteriorate.

“The street is in an appalling condition,” he said. “Literally every day my daughters have an accident of some sort.

“You try to watch them as much as you can, but you can’t be with them every minute of the day.

“My oldest daughter has just started riding her bike without stabilizers, which has taken her a lot longer than many children because of the state of the road.

“You are constantly sticking plasters on them.

“It never stops.”

Mr Douglas, who works for social services, said more than 12 potholes, some up to four inches deep, have emerged on the road.

“Earlier this month, my father fell over holding my youngest daughter and has now got cracked ribs,” he said. “There have been other injuries, mainly to children falling over and having scraped knees, hands and elbows.

“It’s like riding a bike over an obstacle course most days, but you can’t keep your children locked up indoors.

“They want to go out an play.”

However, Sunderland City Council maintain it is the responsibility of the residents to maintain the “unadopted” private road.

“There are between 13 and 15 houses in the street and we’ve been told that it would cost up the £80,000 to bring the pavement and road up to scratch,” said Mr Douglas. “The council say the road is classed as private, according to the Land Registry, but we don’t agree with that.

“We don’t see why they won’t help us out.

“It’s not as if there are millionaires living on this street.

“None of us can afford that kind of money and the street is just going to get worse and worse.”

Bosses at Sunderland City Council today reiterated that any refurbishments will have to be paid for by the local householders.

Ron Odunaiya, executive director City Services, said: “Whilst the council sympathises with Mr Douglas and trusts that his father makes a full and quick recovery, unfortunately the responsibility for maintaining this unadopted road rests with the owners of the properties adjoining it.

“Should the owners come forward with a proposal and a willingness to pay their proportion of the construction costs, then the council will consider implementing the Private Street Works Code, which would lead to the formal adoption of the road.”

@SunEchoJohnston