Chells Way or Hell’s Way? - Confusion over resurfacing work keeps rutted highways in Stevenage on the agenda

Potholes on Chells Way

Potholes on Chells Way - Credit: Archant

Chells Way in Stevenage has been dubbed ‘Hell’s Way’ by a disgruntled councillor who says problems over resurfacing the moon-like surface are continuing to orbit.

The area of Chells Way that has already been resurfaced

The area of Chells Way that has already been resurfaced - Credit: Archant

Councillor Robin Parker, who represents the Chells division on Herts County Council, has campaigned for two years to get the whole stretch of potholes highway resurfaced.

But despite a date for the work now being set for six nights from April 25, he says the work is still beset by confusion because of misleading signs and contractors unaware of which areas of the road are to be worked on.

Because of the potholes and the ongoing confusion, he has jokingly dubbed the road ‘Hell’s Way’.

He said: “During the week starting February 29, some signs were put up at two locations on Chells Way – the junction with Mobbsbury Way and the mini roundabouts at Pankhurst Crescent and Siddons Road.

County Councillor Robin Parker who covers Chells ward has worked to install some speed camera device

County Councillor Robin Parker who covers Chells ward has worked to install some speed camera devices which track the speed of motorists in an attempt to get them to slow down as they approach roads - Credit: Archant

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“I asked one of the contractors why they were doing this work when the whole road is to be resurfaced – he said he had no idea that the whole road was going to be done.

“He said it was too late to stop the works at Mobbsbury Way, but he would make sure his colleagues knew that the T-junction had been done so they did not do it again.

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“The other signs about work at Pankhurst Crescent and Siddons Road were a complete mistake.

“I have rarely come across such muddle, incompetence and neglect by any local council. It has taken me days to sort it out and find someone who could shed light for me on the mess the county council has created.”

Chells Way will be resurfaced from April 25

Chells Way will be resurfaced from April 25 - Credit: Archant

Although he welcomes the full resurfacing of Chells Way, Mr Parker also has concerns about Fairlands Way which was resurfaced recently but which he says is beginning to deteriorate.

Chells Way helped keep highways on the agenda at County Hall on Tuesday when the council faced a barrage of motions from Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors demanding a change in strategy.

Mr Parker’s fellow Liberal Democraft, Councillor Giles Medhurst, proposed a motion that the council is dissatisfied with highways contractors Ringway over “delays, inaccurate information being given to residents, roads being closed despite no work being done, failure to fix streetlights and deal with vegetation and flooding.”

But the Conservative-run council’s highways lead Councillor Terry Douris says he is satisfied with Ringway’s performance, which he says has improved recently.

He says the council is working hard with its partners to keep the highways in the best possible condition.

It comes as Mr Parker has worked to install three electronic signs in the Chells area which flag up motorists’ speeds.

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