Council slammed for not prioritising pothole repairs

A LETCHWORTH GC councillor has slammed Herts County Council (HCC), saying it has got its priorities wrong when it comes to repairing potholes in the town. Cllr Gary Grindal has said it is ridiculous to be installing barriers to protect grass verges rath

A LETCHWORTH GC councillor has slammed Herts County Council (HCC), saying it has got its priorities wrong when it comes to repairing potholes in the town.

Cllr Gary Grindal has said it is "ridiculous" to be installing barriers to protect grass verges rather than carrying out work to repair potholes.

The county council recently erected barriers along a stretch of Icknield Way in Letchworth GC.

"The county council seems to have got its priorities completely wrong," said Cllr Grindal, who represents the Wilbury ward on North Herts District Council.

"It's ridiculous that when so much work is needed on repairing our roads, damaged in recent months, that the county council is spending money on putting up barriers.

"The recent poor weather conditions have caused some major problems to the surface of our roads, but we must not forget that a number of our roads were already in a poor condition before the bad winter struck."

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Cllr Grindal has called on the county council's highway officers for an updated list that details roads that require urgent patching and those that need more significant surface work.

"The condition of the roads in Letchworth at the moment is causing a danger, especially to cyclists and motorcyclists as it is difficult to see the potholes at night and due to the amount of surface water left when it rains," he said.

"Work on protecting the grass verges is important, but it needs to come after we have repaired our roads and made them safe."

The county council said in a statement: "The verge protection measures for Icknield Way were brought to our attention by officers at North Herts District Council and our own engineers.

"This is one of a number of schemes which the North Herts Joint Members Panel opted to fund, following a number of complaints received by local councillors.

"In cases where vehicles are repeatedly damaging highway verges Hertfordshire Highways will keep coming back to carry out repairs, which is costly and time consuming.

"In some instances it is therefore often more cost effective to install bollards to prevent vehicles driving or parking on verges."

Speaking about potholes, Cllr Stuart Pile, HCC's executive member for highways and transport, said: "Priority is being given to roads with the highest volume of traffic, where traffic travels at faster speeds, and where multiple hazardous defects have been reported.

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