St Albans retail park stores could pay price for potholes

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

MOTORISTS making claims for damage done to their cars on the access road to a retail park are being advised to send them to the three main firms on the site. No-one can discover who is responsible for the privately- owned stretch of road at Alban Park, of

MOTORISTS making claims for damage done to their cars on the access road to a retail park are being advised to send them to the three main firms on the site.

No-one can discover who is responsible for the privately- owned stretch of road at Alban Park, off Hatfield Road in St Albans which is pitted with potholes.

But a spokesperson for Herts Highways said: "We have written to the three main firms on the site - Homebase, Volkswagen and Focus - asking to whom they pay their ground rent.

"They have not responded so now we are telling people to send their repair bills directly to them to sort out."

Derek Wakefield of Newgate Close, St Albans, damaged his car there back in June.

He said: "The car went down a very bad hole in the road. I managed to drive it to my garage where they found it had broken the spring and shock absorber. The bill came to £135 which was a lot of money for me as a senior citizen."

Mr Wakefield sent the bill with a letter of explanation to Herts Highways but they returned it saying they did not own the land and did not know to whom it belonged.

One local resident believes the state of the road is so dangerous that it should be closed to traffic immediately.

Steven Eaves of Thirlestane, St Albans, said: "When I complained to Homebase about the poor condition of such a busy road they informed me that there was an ongoing dispute regarding who was actually responsible for those long overdue repairs.

"What is not in dispute however is the dangerous, neglected state of that road. I intend to boycott all of the businesses that trade at Alban Park. "

The Herts Highways spokesperson said they had taken legal advice on whether it would be possible to spend taxpayers' money on repairing the private land but were advised that it was not possible.

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