Potholes hit Hertfordshire roads

FIRST it was snow, then it was ice... and now potholes are causing chaos on the county’s roads.

After the worst cold snap in 30 years left many areas in the UK buried under snow for almost a month, Hertfordshire County Council is bracing itself for an extensive – and very expensive – road repair programme.

Last February, heavy snow cost the county council �16m to repair roads damaged by potholes – caused when water gets into cracks in the tarmac and freezes.

The ice then expands and breaks open the road surface.

It is not yet known how much the adverse weather will cost the council this time around, although the Local Government Association (LGA) has said it is expecting the national figure to be even bigger than last year.

Now county councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport, is asking residents to be patient as Hertfordshire Highways carries out immediate repairs and assesses long term damage.

“In 2009, a fortnight of snow and cold temperatures did a year’s worth of damage to our roads,” Cllr Pile said.

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“This came with a price tag of �16m, and with the rest of the country in the same situation, the Government is still assessing our claim for extra funding to meet these costs.

“We don’t yet know what a month of snow and sub-zero temperatures has done to Hertfordshire’s roads and it is far too early to get the full scale of the problem, but we are anticipating that the damage will be serious and costly to repair.

“We are filling hazardous potholes as our top priority, but we’re expecting several weeks’ worth to reveal themselves all at once.”

He added: “We will get to hazardous potholes as quickly as possible but we can’t guarantee our normal 24-hour response time. Wherever we can, we will do permanent repairs.”

Residents can report damaged roads and pavements at www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults