‘Just my little bit for community’ – Letchworth tyre dealer steps in to help after Stotfold Road pothole strands drivers

Tyres being changed on the roadside.

Tyres being changed on the roadside.

A tyre dealer on his way home from work stepped in to help drivers get on the road again after a monster pothole caused havoc between Letchworth and Stotfold.

The pothole in Stotfold Road before it was filled in.

The pothole in Stotfold Road before it was filled in.

Faz Ahmed, who lives in Fairfield Park, was almost home at about 6pm on Monday when he came up to the roundabout at the corner of Stotfold Road and Dickens Boulevard and saw a dozen cars off the road with broken tyres and smashed wheels.

“I’m in the tyres game, so for me to swap a tyre is like five minutes,” said 30-year-old Faz, who owns Specialist Tyres in Letchworth.

“It was a pretty big pothole, massive. I tried to help as many people as I could. Some people didn’t have the right jacks or tools so I ran back and got them.

“I spoke to one person who had a broken coil spring. He said he’d been forced into the pothole – it was either crash into oncoming traffic or hit the pothole.

Cars on the side of Stotfold Road on Monday.

Cars on the side of Stotfold Road on Monday.

“My aim was to get people back on the road without any more accidents happening – I’ve just done my little bit for the community.”

People living in Fairfield soon realised what was going on, and someone placed two traffic cones in the road to help others avoid the hole, which was filled in by about 8.30pm.

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The pothole had been there for months, and was marked with white paint some weeks before, but it may have become bigger as a result of heavy rain earlier on Monday.

The drivers who came to grief included Eddie Thorn from Arlesey, who had been driving north along Stotfold Road with his daughters.

“It was an enormous hole,” said Eddie. “On pulling in to the next turning I found a long queue of cars, all with broken rims and split tyres.

“It was unbelievable, the queue of people all just pulled over changing wheels. I counted over a dozen cars in the surrounding roads at that point in time, and two AA vans there helping people.

“There was a guy with a Jag there pulled over – the hole had broken the alloy wheel.

“I split the tyre on my car, but fortunately the wheel survived.

“Local residents have been reporting the hole to the council for months – and it has ended up causing huge problems and great cost to a large number of drivers.

“This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs caused by council neglect.”

Faz has offered anyone concerned about their tyres a free safety check.

There was initially some confusion over which highways authority was responsible for the pothole but the Comet has confirmed that it’s down to Herts County Council, whose highways contractor Ringway has not yet responded to a request for comment from the Comet.