‘Hertfordshire’s roads will resemble those in the developing world’ warns councillor after Stevenage complaints

Poor road repairs in Ranworth Avenue, Stevenage.

Poor road repairs in Ranworth Avenue, Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Our roads will soon resemble those “more usually found in the developing world” – and that warning is coming from someone at County Hall.

Poor repair work in The Oundle, Stevenage, has left holes in the road surface

Poor repair work in The Oundle, Stevenage, has left holes in the road surface - Credit: Archant

Councillor Paul Zukowskyj says that Herts County Council’s commitment to rein in spending and meet its highways budget next year after busting it by £1.2 million last year can only mean a rough ride ahead for motorists.

Councillor Paul Zukowskyj has criticised the Conservative-controlled authority over the state of the

Councillor Paul Zukowskyj has criticised the Conservative-controlled authority over the state of the county's roads. - Credit: Archant

The Liberal Democrat says this will mean a cut in service, despite an underspend across the county of £27.7m last year, and increasing complaints about the state of the roads.

Councillor Zukowskyj, who is the shadow cabinet member for resources at the Conservative-controlled authority, said: “They are putting almost £20m into reserves, into paying off past debt and into an ‘invest to transform’ fund, instead of putting the money into a better service for the road users of Hertfordshire.

“Residents pay their council tax to get services, not to see the council put millions in banks and trusts while our roads just fall apart.

“Our roads are set to get much worse. Their goal seems to be to attain road standards in Hertfordshire more usually found in the developing world.”

Grumbles about the standard of resurfacing works have been a regular talking point in Stevenage and beyond in recent weeks.

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In some places, the new surface is coming away in chunks and leaving holes in the roads.

Peter Craig, who has taken pictures of ropey repairs in Stevenage’s Ranworth Avenue – main picture – to back up his gripes, said: “Where do they get these people? Is it in the guidelines that roads must be left in a grotesque condition while tax payers’ money is misspent on this very short-term approach? There is no value in this method.

“I wonder at what point they become embarrassed by the continuing media exposure, or are their skins thicker than their road repairs?”

Dennis O’Leary, of Durham Road in Stevenage, said: “Just after they had done my road there were holes appearing. It looks like such a bad job.

“If they did the job properly in the first place they wouldn’t have to waste time coming back.”

One Sandown Road resident moaned: “My road is absolutely awful. On a hot day it’s a nightmare, with car tyres just pulling the road surface up.

“The workman even said he wouldn’t want it on his road. He said it cost £22,000. What a waste of money, and we apparently haven’t got the money to spend. The road was fine before, so I don’t know why they even did it.

“There have been lots of complaints, so why doesn’t someone do something about it?”