St Albans and Harpenden road repairs stalled for a year by county overspend

Damaged road surface on Drakes Drive

Damaged road surface on Drakes Drive - Credit: Archant

At least 142 road repair schemes costing £3 million have been postponed until next year by Herts county council because they were on course to overspend their budget.

The work includes 13 road repairs in St Albans city, 20 in Harpenden, and three in London Colney.

Herts county councillor for the Colneys Cllr Dreda Gordon said: “I’m really disappointed that roads that are in need of urgent works such as Richardson Close and Harper Lane in my division have been delayed. Works were promised on these roads almost two years ago.

“Just four months ago the Labour group on the county council asked the ruling Tory group to use £30 million we have finally got back from Icelandic banks - after the county council’s disastrous investment in them, prior to them going bust - to be spent on plugging the gap in the highways budget.

“These calls fell on deaf ears and now the programme is being cut further and it is residents who are once again paying the price for this complete mess.”

Cllr Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said severe winter weather over the years has taken its toll on the roads: “While we were successful in bidding for additional government funding last year, and the council itself invested extra money, it’s still not enough to cover the remaining schemes that we had planned to deliver this year.”

He added: “I appreciate this news will come as a disappointment to those residents and road users in the areas affected and for this I apologise. The remaining schemes have been added to next year’s work programme, and in the mean time we are doing all we can to see if it’s possible that any can be delivered this year.”