RESIDENTS in an unadopted Lancing road said they feel like “second-class citizens” after collapsed cable trenches became the latest in a long list of problems to affect them.
Earlier this month, cable trenches collapsed in West Way, Lancing, after Adur District Council replaced street lights in the road.
Residents said the collapsed trenches, which were caused by the land becoming saturated with rain water, have been causing damage to their vehicles and have made the road dangerous to walk on.
But despite the “danger” the road damage is causing, Adur District and West Sussex County Councils said they were not responsible for carrying out road improvement works because West Way is unadopted.
Geoff Patmore, who is vice-chairman of West Beach Residents’ Association, said: “We’ve got people in their 80s and 90s living here and it’s dangerous for them to walk down here.
“We’ve also got kids here and they don’t play in the road because it’s too dangerous.”
It is the latest in a long list of problems to affect the road, which has consistently been one of the most flood-prone areas in Lancing.
Even now, months after one of the wettest Decembers in recent history, pools of water have still not drained from the road.
But because West Way is classed as unadopted, Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council are not required to perform any work on the road unless it is brought up to adopted standards by the road’s owners.
The land is owned by the developer Landstone Ltd, but residents of West Way have been in dispute for years over who should be responsible for maintaining the road.
They argue the road is being used as a public highway, and because they pay full council tax rates they should be entitled to the highways’ maintenance other rate-payers enjoy.
Mr Patmore added: “What we’re saying is this is a public highway because we get people coming through taking a short-cut to get to the allotments and children using the land to get to the football pitch. Therefore, we don’t own the land. But every time we want something done West Sussex County Council, Adur District Council and Lancing Parish Council say to us they have no responsibility for the road, yet the area is used for public access. Our point is that we pay council tax. We don’t pay less than anyone else but we don’t get the same facilities. We feel like second-class citizens.”