Rail and roads

SIR, – We live right behind the St Albans Abbey station. Recent works on the upgrade of the line and station has led me to the conclusion that Network Rail is next to God in pecking order. Work starts at 11pm and noisy workmen, shouting at each other, hea

SIR, - We live right behind the St Albans Abbey station. Recent works on the upgrade of the line and station has led me to the conclusion that Network Rail is next to God in pecking order.

Work starts at 11pm and noisy workmen, shouting at each other, heavy construction equipment (sounding like chainsaws, heavy sledge hammers and the constant beeping of reversing vehicles - don't they ever turn around!) play a joyful melody until 4 or 5am the next morning.

Us poor serfs who want to sleep must just keep a stiff upper lip! Numerous complaints to the police (very helpful gentlemen, but with their hands tied by the law), a glacier movement-speed St Albans environmental services for noise pollution investigation and even losing my temper with Network Rail people on the other end of a phone line didn't help at all.

Does nobody hold these people accountable? Is money so important that you cannot run a bus replacement service during the day for the St Albans Abbey line after rush hour and get the work done then?


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My impression of Network Rail is that they simply do not care and that no law is applicable to them at all.

ED SMIT

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The Brambles

St Albans

SIR, - Joan Collins (Herts Advertiser, July 16) is quite correct - there was "considerable dissatisfaction" in my letter published July 2:

Considerable dissatisfaction with the appalling state of Hertfordshire roads. (My back condition has not been helped by the numerous potholes and "speed bumps" which can be tortuous even at 5mph.)

Considerable dissatisfaction with the value for money received by Herts CC taxpayers. Why are repairs not inspected for quality and completeness? Why do repaired roads disintegrate soon after repair?

Considerable dissatisfaction with the situation whereby road users have to point out to Herts Highways where they have failed to finish a job, e.g. the recent gritting of the Redbourn to Hemel road which left it without any white-lining until I reported it. By the way, Herts Highways - why no cats-eyes? We got them on the Harpenden to Redbourn road following gritting. Also, why are some of the "no road markings" signs still there long after the white lining was finally done?

Considerable dissatisfaction with taxpayers having to pay over and over again for repairs to the same potholes.

Considerable dissatisfaction with the on-going refusal of the county council and it's highways supremo Stuart Pile to acknowledge that there is something wrong.

Throwing money at the problem is not the answer - it has to be spent sensibly, something Herts Highways are incapable of doing.

It is time the unholy alliance forming Herts Highways was investigated to find out where the money goes, why we suffer poor workmanship, why we get poor value for money and why there is effectively no competition for the business of road repairs.

In the current economic climate, I am sure there are lots of companies who could do a far better job at a cheaper price (at least one company is laying off workers because of a shortage of work from Herts Highways).

As James Fitch pointed out in his letter (also July 16), other counties can do it properly, why not Hertfordshire?

Unfortunately, I believe Joan Collins is mistaken in thinking that the speed humps in lower Crabtree Lane have gone for good. I understand Herts Highways are intending to replace them starting on July 27 and will be taking three days to do so!

Back on the subject of quality, recently resurfaced Crabtree Lane already has two previously dug trenches sinking under the new top layer which will undoubtedly need more bodging before long.

By the way, Stuart Pile never accepted my invitation (Herts Advertiser, May 14) to inspect the poor workmanship of Herts Highways. I wonder why?

PETER MANNELL

Aldwickbury Crescent

Harpenden

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