‘It’s like dodgems avoiding potholes’ – Stevenage drivers name and shame town’s worst roads

Chells Way, at the mini roundabout with Ferrier Road, is in need of attention.

Chells Way, at the mini roundabout with Ferrier Road, is in need of attention. - Credit: Archant

A penny-pinching council needs to invest more money in highways before people start moving out of what is fast becoming a ‘Third World’ town.

Herts County Council member Robin Parker and Liberal Democrat member Stephen Booth survey the damage

Herts County Council member Robin Parker and Liberal Democrat member Stephen Booth survey the damage on Chells Way, at the mini roundabout with Pankhurst Crescent. - Credit: Archant

That is the view of many who have been in touch with the Comet since our report two weeks ago highlighted pothole problems in Stevenage.

Dozens of drivers have been adding to the list of roads in desperate need of repair, with Chells Way top of the list and Fairlands Way a close second.

Kerrie Childs said: “I drive up Chells Way every day for the school run and it’s just getting worse. It’s ridiculous and very dangerous, especially in the rain, as you can’t see how deep the holes are.”

Ricky Howard added: “Chells Way is the worst I’ve seen. It’s like dodgems, avoiding the potholes. Spend a little bit more money and resurface it properly.”

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One woman fears for her husband’s safety, saying he has nearly come off his motorbike many times due to the poor road surfaces in Stevenage.

Resurfacing work was recently carried out on Fairlands Way, between the St George’s Way roundabout and Grace Way, but drivers are complaining it is coming away in chunks.

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Jen English said: “The penny-pinching top coat they put on Fairlands Way was a total waste of money because it’s all coming off.”

Another driver said: “I drove through Stevenage and played dodgems with numerous potholes, then went to Welwyn Garden City and the roads are perfect. It makes me feel like moving out. We’re becoming a Third World town.”

Stevenage councillor Robin Parker, who represents the Chells division on Herts County Council, said: “The roads in Stevenage have deteriorated and not been looked after in recent years.

“Chells Way has been appalling for years. I have got highways to agree to resurface all of Chells Way in 2016/17, subject to the agreement of Cabinet later this month. There is a provisional date of May 11 for five nights.”

Councillor Terry Douris, overseeing highways for Herts County Council, said: “Hertfordshire’s 3,000 miles of roads are amongst the busiest in the country, with over five billion vehicle miles travelled every year and 2.5 times the national average of lorries using our roads. This inevitably results in some defects.

“We appreciate residents’ concerns about Fairlands and we have made arrangements with our contractor who carried out the work, Eurovia, to rectify the issue as soon as possible. We’d like to thank residents for their patience and reassure people that we do expect works to be completed correctly the first time.

“Chells Way is part of our maintenance programme and is scheduled for resurfacing in May 2016.

“Despite the huge financial pressures we are facing as a result of a growing and ageing population and reduced government funding, we are continuing to invest heavily in our roads.

“We are spending more than ever before on repairs as part of our on-going commitment to maintain and improve our roads to ensure they are as safe and well maintained as possible. Residents can report any concerns they may have with Hertfordshire’s roads by visiting www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults.”

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