A hole lot of trouble for Letchworth business

A BUSINESSMAN has slammed the companies involved in maintenance work outside his premises for wasting money.

Craig Mainprize, owner of Hydroactive, has had work ongoing by his store in Howard Park Corner, Letchworth GC, for all but one month in the past year, and says he is fed up with the damage it is doing to his business.

Mr Mainprize told The Comet that paving which has been dug up by Skanska in the past two weeks looks like “patchwork quilt-work”, with holes left unfilled for days on end.

In one instance, he said, holes dug up by the maintenance company were later re-filled by them because workers from UK Power Networks did not install electric cables as expected.

“Workmen will dig some holes, having three weeks earlier dug the same holes, all because someone else wasn’t ready to do the work,” said Mr Mainprize, who sells snorkelling and diving equipment at the store.

“What a waste of money. It’s just beyond what’s reasonable. We don’t even get notification of what’s going to happen.

“I’m so angry about it. People look across at it and think I won’t bother going in there. Nobody knows what anyone else is doing.”

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Prior to the latest pavement works, Mr Mainprize said the nearby Birdshill roundabout had been rebuilt three times in the past year by Hertfordshire Highways.

“Something has been going on almost every month this year. If you’re going to dig something up, get on and do it. It’s just not acceptable. In these economic times it’s hard enough without this as well.”

A spokesman for EDF Energy said the company was no longer responsible for cable installation, with work now being carried out by UK Power Networks.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “Our role in this job is simply to put in the cables once satisfactory cable ducts have been created. This has not happened yet.”

An email sent last Friday which was relayed to Mr Mainprize, from Rod Watson, project manager for Skanska, said all works would be backfilled and reinstated by last Saturday and there would not be any further excavations until the day before EDF is scheduled to re-visit.

A spokesman for Skanska said: “Skanska has completed the trenching and ducting works and reinstatement is scheduled to be completed during the morning of November 3 (today).”