Roads to ruin

SIR - I feel that thanks are very much due to both Hertfordshire Highways and their contractors over the re-surfacing of Sandridge High Street and part of St Albans Road. This long overdue work has been carried out to a high standard and with a minimum of

SIR - I feel that thanks are very much due to both Hertfordshire Highways and their contractors over the re-surfacing of Sandridge High Street and part of St Albans Road.

This long overdue work has been carried out to a high standard and with a minimum of disruption.

Yes, of course there were times overnight when the flashing lights, grinding noises and harsh bleeps of reversing signals made sleep well nigh impossible, and that must have been more than true for families with young children and babies, but with the phasing of the work this seldom happened more than a couple of nights in a row and will probably soon be forgotten.

And yes, the difficulty suffered by our one and only village shop can't be discounted, but the end result will probably be seen to justify the inconvenience.

But, and I know we aren't talking ha'porths of tar, what a pity that the job is only part done, that the section of road from Sandringham Crescent to Beech Road is only part-patched, meaning it will soon revert to its previous sorry state.

Are there merely deferred plans to finish the job, or will this remain as another long term blight on the infrastructure of one of the best funded counties around London? What a shame to leave something well done only half-finished.

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JOHN NEWTON-DAVIES

Church End

Sandridge

SIR - I was pleased to see that Herts Highways have been awarded some extra cash to repair our deteriorating roads.

When the job is done properly then yes, they do a good job. Witness the recent resurfacing between Langley Crescent and Sandringham Crescent, but why oh why did they not finish the job to the King William junction.

A certain amount of bodging (sorry patching) has been done on this stretch but many poor areas of road still remain and these will undoubtedly break up during the next few months.

Whilst all the plant and equipment were in place and the roads closed it would surely have been cost effective to complete the job.

Can we ask that the person who is responsible for painting the white lines around areas needing repair not do so in the hours of darkness and wearing sunglasses.

NORMAN DAYTON

Highfield Road

Sandridge

SIR - I received a response to my open letter to Mr Pile which you kindly published (Herts Advertiser, May 14).

Not surprisingly, his response failed to address the issues of quality and value for money which I raised.

One example I quoted (Dalkeith Road) has now been partially patched, but I expect next winter will wreck that.

Nothing about why the original work was allowed to be done to such a poor standard and nothing about who is going to pay for it - no guesses - I suppose it will be the council taxpayer as usual.

Councillor Pile complains about previous "under investment". I would suggest that the problem is poor investment.

Just look at the number of repairs which fail again far too soon after completion and of course we all remember the St Albans one-way system and St Peter's Street fiascos - both SERIOUSLY poor "investments".

Councillor Pile states he has a five-year maintenance programme, With the quality of work carried out previously, jobs done at the beginning of the five years will need doing again before the programme is complete!

Forth Bridge repainting sounds easy by comparision.

As to planning - why was Crabtree Lane completely resurfaced, then almost immediately after, the road was dug up to provide services to the new houses which have been under construction for months?

It was obvious that work was going to be needed and Herts Highways should have planned accordingly.

Why was the Redbourn to Hemel road gritted and the white lines and cats-eyes not reinstated, although they were reinstated on the Harpenden to Redbourn road which was gritted about the same time? And what a meal was made of that - a very busy local road closed for DAYS.

I see from your excellent article "Our roads to ruin: Results revealed" (Herts Advertiser, June 25) that the Lib-Dems are keen to target the incompetent and wasteful Herts CC over the state of Hertfordshire roads.

I note that Mr Pile "...will be looking at this Lib-Dems survey carefully over the summer".

Why does he have to do that? If there are not enough reports being filed by the public acting as unpaid pothole reporters, then send someone out to tour the roads.

In an average nine-to-five day I estimate I could easily make note of many dozens of potholes and other repairs needed.

I sincerely hope that he will do a bit more than just "looking at" the survey.

I understand from a very reliable source that the companies who are sub-contracted to repair our roads are complaining that Herts CC are not giving them any work to do.

I think the following sums it up: Not enough being done + poor planning + poor quality control + poor value for money = Herts Highways

PETER MANNELL

Aldwickbury Crescent

Harpenden

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