Years of neglect
PUBLISHED: 10:32 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010
SIR, — So after a few days of snow, as if we didn t know it already, the perilous state of St Albans roads is laid bare for all to see (Herts Advertiser, February 12). The years of patchworking, infilling and make-do-and-mending has been revealed for the
SIR, - So after a few days of snow, as if we didn't know it already, the perilous state of St Albans roads is laid bare for all to see (Herts Advertiser, February 12). The years of patchworking, infilling and make-do-and-mending has been revealed for the ineffective botch job it has always been and that has been argued against.
Due to the effects of the snow and ice, many roads now have numerous large potholes, not little divots requiring a quick infill, but deep, wide, cavernous holes deep enough to damage motor vehicles, pose serious tripping hazards to pedestrians crossing the road and presenting even more dangerous and life-threatening hazards for cyclists and motorcyclists.
The pothole hotline is useless. I can tell you as I've used it several times without effect. So too is the online fault reporting facility on the Herts County Council website. I've lost count of the hazards I've reported - none of which have been dealt with. What do we deduce from this inaction therefore? A council and county authority bereft of efficiency, so strapped for cash they cannot even make do or mend anymore and obviously blissfully (or knowingly) ignorant of the steady stream of litigants who will, forced by this frustrating inaction, surely be filing law suits as the injuries, accidents and motor damage levels increase.
We pay enough in council tax. Heaven knows how much we are also stealthily taxed through the back door and for what? It is a right in a civilised country - even if we're well on the way to bankruptcy - to ensure that our roads are relatively smooth. After all, are we not living in St Albans rather than Albania?
My solution to the problem is simple. It is called people power and if enough of us do it, as we must and are rightfully entitled to do, then the roads will improve. My request is that every time you drive over a pothole accidentally, have your car checked. If there is body damage or your wheels and steering need rebalancing/retracking, invoice the county council. Take a detailed photo of the pothole (with measurements) and submit that too. If you happen to suffer a personal injury, do not put it down to bad luck and not pursue it for fear of the hassle and time. Consult a proper personal-injury lawyer and if you have a case, sue.
That way, this inept bunch of incompetents who for too long, have allowed our roads to deteriorate to an unacceptable standard, will be forced by "people power" to make them good, permanently.
Green Lane, St Albans.