‘Farcical’ St Albans resurfacing works could prove cycling hazard

RESURFACING only part of a road outside two schools in St Albans has been branded “farcical” and “potentially dangerous” by two councillors who have campaigned heavily for the entire road to be resurfaced.

Central Drive, which is the main road used by vehicles accessing Oakwood School and Beaumont School, will undergo vital resurfacing work during half-term but only 270 yards of the road will be done.

Herts Highways have said that the section of road between Hazelwood Drive and Oakwood Drive – the part of the road closest to the schools – will not be resurfaced during this financial year because there are not enough funds and this section of road is not considered to be in need of urgent work.

The main section of the road is in such a state of disrepair that Herts Highways was forced to patch up some of the potholes yesterday (Wednesday, October 20) just days before the main resurfacing work begins.

District Councillor Anthony Rowlands admitted that while the section that would be left contained fewer potholes than the other part of the road, the section was still dangerous and if the council planned to return at a later date to resurface it, the costs could be even higher.

He said: “It’s still in an awful state and hazardous for cyclists riding to the schools.

“We are told this section will be reviewed and yes, it may be done as early as next year, but with all the consequential waste of returning to complete a job.

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Describing it as “absurd”, he added: “It beggars belief, when funds are tight, that this type of costly short-termism is being perpetrated.”

County Councillor Rob Prowse added: “We have tried to make Herts Highways see sense over this but to no avail. We will continue our efforts to persuade them to change their minds before the work starts.”

A spokesperson for the council confirmed that the work would take place only on the worst sections of the carriageway because of budgetary constraints. She added: “If we were to leave the whole road until next financial year, the damage from this winter might be so great in these sections that the repairs would be far more costly.”