Potholes add to road problems in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 17:51 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009

There have been 62 reported cases of dangerous potholes in Welwyn Hatfield since Monday

There have been 62 reported cases of dangerous potholes in Welwyn Hatfield since Monday

FIRST it was snow, then it was ice; now potholes are causing headaches for commuters and transport chiefs alike. When the snow started thawing on Monday, residents of Times Territory woke up to the sight of splits and holes in the roads and pavements, ad

FIRST it was snow, then it was ice; now potholes are causing headaches for commuters and transport chiefs alike.

When the snow started thawing on Monday, residents of Times Territory woke up to the sight of splits and holes in the roads and pavements, adding an extra element of danger to the already hazardous commute to work.

So far, Hertfordshire Highways has received 62 reports of potholes in Welwyn Hatfield.

This time last year, there had been just five.

With the winter maintenance programme expected to finish £1m over budget, the cost of further road repairs has yet to be calculated.

The damage has been caused by water seeping into cracks in the road. During the cold nights, the water freezes and expands, causing splits and pot holes.

Although some damage is expected every winter, the severity of this year is clear.

County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "Potholes are just appearing all of a sudden. I noticed a huge one recently by the Airfield roundabout in Hatfield, but I was equally reassured to see it being filled in."

While work has already begun to repair some roads in Times Territory, Cllr Pile warned: "We will work as quickly as possible to repair what we are anticipating to be extensive damage, but we ask for residents' patience as this may take some time."

The "best guess" as to the overall cost of work carried out over winter stands at £4.3m.

"I have asked the regional minister [Barbara Follett] to see if we can get additional funding to cover some of the cost," added Cllr Pile.

"I would hope that the Government would see this as an urgent priority."

But Mrs Follett told the WHT that no such funding would be forthcoming.

"I advised those with concerns about the maintenance of their roads to assess costs and implications, and discuss next steps within their local authorities," she said.

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