Roadworks woe in St Albans city-centre streets

Bedford Road

Bedford Road - Credit: Archant

FRUSTRATED residents of three St Albans roads are questioning why roadworks have not been completed by the end of February as they were told to expect.

And they have alerted their county councillor Chris White about the mess in Inkerman and Bedford Roads and the knock-on effect the work is causing in Alexandra Road – all of which are very narrow streets.

Thames Water signs have been up around the drainage work since January and the operation has been plagued by periods when no work has been carried out. It was due to be completed by the end of February but there is still no sign of it finishing.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I understand it needs to be done but it would be nice to be kept informed as to why there is such a delay.”

Cllr White, who visited the site with a county council highways officer, described it as “dreadful” and went on: “It is sewage work and these things need to be done but I am getting distressed calls from residents.”

He is particularly concerned by the big cage in Bedford Road which, he described as being “like a storeroom” and the mess left by contractors’ vehicles.

He said that once they had seen the state of the area, the county officer had gone off to chase up Thames Water about the condition and the delay in completing the work.

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Cllr White went on: “I am trying to get the county to put pressure on. The highways engineer was pretty appalled and we have to change the balance between the county council and the utilities.”

He has asked for clarification that the sections of the roads affected will be cleaned and restored once the work is finished and although the work has not been taking place in Alexandra Road its condition has been badly affected and needs repair.

But a spokesperson for Thames Water said yesterday: “The work that is being done around Inkerman Road is being done by the developers for The London Road Project. The signs indicating that this is Thames Water work are incorrect and we are arranging to have these removed immediately.

“We’d like to apologise to the customers who have been misled into thinking this is one of our sites.”

On its website, the London Road Project explained that the existing water main in Bedford Road has been found to be in “extremely poor condition” and Affinity Water had requested that the main be replaced while the road was closed to avoid further disruption to residents.

That had resulted in a delay to the drainage programme as no excavation works were permitted until the water main had been replaced.