In a hole

PUBLISHED: 10:29 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

SIR, — As has been widely reported in the media and commented on in your letters page, the recent cold weather and flooding has caused a dramatic deterioration in road conditions in all parts of the country that experienced severe weather in the last few

SIR, - As has been widely reported in the media and commented on in your letters page, the recent cold weather and flooding has caused a dramatic deterioration in road conditions in all parts of the country that experienced severe weather in the last few weeks.

We appreciate the frustration that this has caused and would like to reassure residents that we are working hard to deal with the extensive damage. We are currently undertaking an inspection of our 3,000-mile road network, in addition to our regular inspection programme, so we can decide how best to remedy the situation. However, we ask for everyone's patience as we cannot resolve this overnight.

In the week when the snow started to thaw, we received three times as many reports of potholes compared to the same time last year. The volume of work may mean that we cannot meet our normal 24-hour standard for repairing reported potholes in every single case. We apologise for any problems this causes, but we will continue to repair hazardous potholes as quickly as we can.

We are also working closely with other councils in the region which have seen their roads deteriorate in the same way as Hertfordshire's, to try to secure funding from the Government for what is likely to be costly repair works.

While the state of the county's roads has been worsened by the recent weather, decades of underinvestment centrally in the country's road network left our roads ill-equipped to deal with such conditions. Our fully-trained engineers will continue to use market-leading techniques to make the funding we have go as far as possible. We do inspect roads regularly, we do invest as much in the budget as we can and - to quote one correspondent - we do use the modern versions of "some tar spray and chip, some resurfacing, some reconstruction".

At the same time, we will also continue to raise the underinvestment issue on a national level and fight for additional funding to keep the roads in our congested county to a decent standard.

CLLR STUART PILE,

Executive Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, Hertfordshire County Council.

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