Plans to purge potholes across St Albans district
- Credit: Archant
IN the face of numerous complaints about potholes opening up in roads across the St Albans district and Herts as a whole, the county council has explained the current situation.
With better weather expected soon, highways maintenance contractors Ringway have been instructed to instigate the annual winter recovery programme of repair work which aims to improve the roads as quickly as possible.
It uses planned schemes to make permanent repairs rather than short-term temporary fixes at a cost of about £1.5 million for February and March.
Stuart Pile, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Ringway have been working to repair the large number of potholes that have appeared due to the winter conditions.
“In the first three weeks of February, crews repaired nearly 320 potholes a day and other resurfacing crews have also been in action. They carry out work mainly on the major roads where resurfacing is more likely to be required, rather than pothole or other smaller scale repairs.”
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He went on: “There is still some work to be done which we hope to be completed soon. This is, however, dependent on the weather.
“Once conditions improve our contractors will start to work on the extensive list of road maintenance work under the Integrated Works Programme, which is Hertfordshire’s annual programme of major works to maintain and improve the highway network.
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“It includes maintenance works to roads, bridges, pavements and the like as well as improvement schemes to tackle safety problems, reduce congestion or assist pedestrians.”
The county council stressed that damaged roads as result of the severe conditions was not just a Hertfordshire problem but affected the whole country.
Heavy rain through December followed by snow and ice in January and February had been very challenging with potholes appearing literally overnight in some places.
Matthew Kelley, Ringway divisional manager, said: “The entire Ringway team has been very focused on keeping the main roads open in the county during the recent extreme weather. Our focus has now shifted to our winter recovery programme to address the damage caused on the county’s roads by the rain, ice and snow.
“So far we have resurfaced 15 roads, with another 26 due to be completed before the end of March.
“We have four crews dedicated to those hot spots requiring deeper patching and have repaired 174 roads with specialist permanent patching equipment.
“Over 55 other roads are scheduled into the programme, with more being added weekly as faults are reported to us.
“Although the snow has abated for now, we are still poised and ready to go should the wintry weather return.”
Residents are encouraged to report potholes and other highways faults online at www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults