The asphalt bungle

THE boys with the blackstuff cut a couple of corners when they went to resurface a road. They simply worked round a parked van. And now residents are demanding they come back and finish the job. Workers from Hertfordshire Highways had gone to Hampden Road

THE boys with the blackstuff cut a couple of corners when they went to resurface a road.

They simply worked round a parked van. And now residents are demanding they come back and finish the job.

Workers from Hertfordshire Highways had gone to Hampden Road in Hitchin on Saturday to lay a new road surface.

On arrival they had noticed a Three Valleys Water van parked on the side of the road.


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This was despite the council asking residents to move their vehicles before resurfacing work started.

The driver was believed to have been on holiday and instead of delaying the job the workmen just worked around the van.

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Now residents want the job completed.

Sharon Boston, who works in Letchworth Hill Laundry on Hampden Road, said: "It does look a right mess. There is a large patch missing, which is very noticeable from right down the road, because the workmen had to go around the van.

"The council still haven't filled it in. They would find it very hard to do it all again because they would have to close the road off again to stop all the cars from going through it.

"I've spoken to a few people who think it looks ridiculous and it must be embarrassing for the council."

Another resident, Chris Parker, said: "I cannot believe it. How could this have happened when there was so much effort put in by the county highways and the contractors to warn us about the road closure and the need to remove parked cars.

"This was particularly disturbing because Hampden Road was not going to be resurfaced by the county but I requested through the Hitchin committee to include Hampden Road on the county council schedule for resurfacing.

"We were fortunate to have had the support of all councillors, but it currently looks pretty silly with this section incomplete."

A council spokesman said: "Residents are given two weeks notice of the works, by letter drop and signs on site. Then, a day or two before the work starts, the contractors put up No Parking signs.

"In this case we tried to contact the owner of the van but they were on holiday. We also tried to contact the water company but they couldn't send anyone out to move the van.

"In this kind of situation we have no choice but to work round the vehicle until it is moved. In about 90 per cent of cases there's no problem at all but sometimes we do have to work around vehicles.

"We will arrange for our contractors to do this in the near future, but no date has been set yet. It's fairly straightforward to do and should blend in with the rest of the new surface.

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