Anger at St Albans pothole problem

Pothole at the top of St Peter's St near the roundabout

Pothole at the top of St Peter's St near the roundabout - Credit: Archant

BATTERED-looking road surfaces throughout St Albans district are annoying motorists fed up with dodging a multitude of unrepaired potholes.

St Albans district councillors have told the Herts Advertiser that they have been receiving many phone calls from residents, some of whom have suffered damage to their cars as a result of driving into deep potholes.

One such cavity is outside Iceland in Victoria Street, where cables can be seen.

Others have appeared, or become worse, on the likes of St Peter’s Street, Sandpit Lane, at its junction with Clarence Road, Carlisle Avenue and on Carlton Road in Harpenden.

Cllr Sue Featherstone said: “Some of the potholes are horrendous chasms which are due to the recent rain, and they have come up very quickly.”

She said people from her ward – St Stephen – have complained about damage to cars or their bicycles.

Cllr Featherstone said while there was a backlog of potholes to fix, Herts county council (HCC) was aware of the need to repair them.

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She encouraged residents to be proactive and inform HCC of the location of potholes, rather than assume it knew of each one.

Cllr Featherstone added: “If I see poor cyclists having to swerve around one, I notify the council.”

Cllr Chris White said: “There are potholes appearing all over the place, it’s quite hazardous, and it’s become worse in the past three weeks.”

He criticised HCC for “neglecting” a long-standing pothole on St Peter’s Street, which appeared months ago near its junction with Hall Place Gardens.

Cllr White said: “It’s false economy not repairing these things.”

Cllr Jacob Quagliozzi, however, questioned the quality of repair work, as on King’s Road in London Colney, one that was recently fixed has reopened.

Stuart Pile, HCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, blamed the weather for damage to roads.

He explained: “Formation of potholes during wintry weather is caused by rain water seeping into small cracks in the road.

“As temperatures dip, the water freezes and expands, enlarging the cracks.

“This causes cracks and potholes to appear, overnight in some cases, even in roads that otherwise appear sound.

“While temperatures haven’t been very cold yet this winter, the temperature has gone below zero on a number of occasions which is all that’s needed to do damage.

“In addition, the sustained heavy rain we’ve seen over the last few weeks has caused significant damage due to erosion and our highways contractor, Ringway, is dealing with making repairs on our behalf.”

He said that any pothole categorised as hazardous will be repaired within 24 hours.

Highway problems can be reported on or 0300 123 4047.