St Albans councillor slams road resurfacing job

Residents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing job

Residents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing job

Archant

A botched road resurfacing job in parts of the St Albans conservation area has been described as “deeply shocking” by a concerned cuncillor.

Residents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing jobResidents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing job

The Herts Advertiser reported last week that residents of Abbey View Road were “furious” at the work which looked, in the words of resident Chris Wolfe, like “ghastly black sludge”.

Since then, residents of Ladysmith Road, Folly Avenue and Kimberley Road have expressed their anger at the similarly poor resurfacing job on those roads.

James Toms, of Ladysmith Road, said: “It’s a disaster. It’s coming up already. This is supposed to be a conservation area and they’ve just poured tar all over the 100-year-old cobbles.”

The work had been carried out by county council contractor, Colas, on one of the hottest days of the year and as a result the surface did not set properly.

Residents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing jobResidents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing job

County cllr Sandy Walkington said: “Nonsense explanations from Colas and highway officials apologise ‘for the inconvenience’.

“Residents fully understand they will be inconvenienced by resurfacing but they have a legitimate expectation of a quality result at the end of it.”

Having visited the road, Cllr Walkington sent photographs of the street to highway officials at County Hall and described the work as looking like a “dog’s breakfast”.

“I have demanded a meeting on site. Highway officials need to leave the County Hall bunker and see for themselves.”

Residents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing jobResidents of Ladysmith Road, unhappy with resurfacing job

One resident reported that a Colas worker had said: “There is no way we should be doing this today.”

Chris Dey, whose motorbike sunk into the tarmac after workers told him the road was safe to be parked upon, said: “There’s pothole after pothole. It’s a substandard job. I mean, the cobbles have been here since 1895.

“They came, ruined the road and then left. We thought, ‘this can’t be the finished job’.”

Responding to compaints from neighbour, Kirsty Saunders, a contracts administrator from Colas, said: “Unlike conventional surfacing methods, microasphalt does not provide the ‘final finish’ when it is initially applied. Although the surface does not look its best when first laid, I can assure you that it will settle down within the next few weeks.”

A spokesperson for Herts County Council said: “In general we are satisfied with the standard of the work carried out by our contractor and have received positive feedback about their work.

“However, in a few isolated cases they have experienced some technical difficulties and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused residents.

“During the course of our inspections, where work is found to not meet the high standards we expect, we will ask the contractor to put things right at their own expense.”

A short statement from Colas said: “These sites are currently under review with Hertfordshire County Council and Colas.”

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