Highways robbery

PUBLISHED: 11:41 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — Herts Highways(robbery) has once again surpassed itself with its incompetence by top dressing Batchwood Drive, St Albans, with loose stones and insufficient tar. Having already ruined the tyres, wheels and suspension of our vehicles with its negle

SIR, - Herts Highways(robbery) has once again surpassed itself with its incompetence by top dressing Batchwood Drive, St Albans, with loose stones and insufficient tar.

Having already ruined the tyres, wheels and suspension of our vehicles with its neglected roads, environmentally-unfriendly humps and dangerous "traffic-calming" kerbs, has Herts County Council now embarked on chipping our car bonnets and windscreens with flying stones from its "road repairs"?

When I drove down Batchwood Drive on Saturday, June 7, I encountered a tunnel of choking dust and flying grit not seen since the wagon trains crossed the dustbowls of the Wild West. Cyclists and pedestrians must have been suffocated by the pollution and the homes and parked cars of nearby residents covered in ash.

Later that day, I discovered that Herts Highways had done the same thing in Theobald Street, Borehamwood. Using this "non-stick" method which relies on the public to use their cars as steam rollers is ridiculous. Residents in nearby Allerton Road, Borehamwood, are still sweeping up loose stones from their pavements, gutters and blocked kerbside drains 18 months after the "highway experts" used the same method there.

Why on earth does the county council not send out its own surveyors to monitor the work? Is it still unaware that the public is sick to death with the quality of this company's workmanship? Has it not learnt a lesson from the £2.5 million St Peter's Street cock-up? Apparently not.

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that when it comes to local government, we are living in a democratic dictatorship where overpaid council chief executives and officers sit in their ivory towers preaching "best practice" and doing nowt, and local councillors spend more time filling in their expenses than they do listening to the complaints of their constituents.

If this is not the case, why is it that the county council and St Albans District Council expect the public to report dangerous potholes in our disgraceful, crumbling roads instead of getting off their backsides and out and about on their bikes with clipboards, riding around the district and noting the state of the roads for themselves? Is this not what we pay them for?

Our extortionate council taxes we are told are necessary to pay for "the best business brains" that money can buy. From their handling of everything from highways to road flooding and the school-places fiasco, many of us feel we are being short-changed by a bunch of numbskulls.

As Sir Alan Sugar would say: "You haven't got a bloody clue. You're fired!"

RONALD GRIBBLE,

Field Close, Harpenden.

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