Welwyn Hatfield councillor attacks ‘indifferent’ highways contractor

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 March 2014

Brockswood Lane (before)

Brockswood Lane (before)


A long-running war of words between a councillor and county highways contractor Ringway reignited over a flooded road last week.

Brockswood Lane (after)Brockswood Lane (after)

Lib Dem county and borough councillor Malcolm Cowan slammed what he called “Ringway’s seeming indifference to faults”, as he berated the firm for failing to sort out deluged Brockswood Lane, in Welwyn Garden City. Cllr Cowan said: “On February 14, I reported the flooding in the country part of Brockswood Lane, by the golf course.

“There is a dip and nowhere for the water to go.

“I told them [Ringway] they needed to cut a small channel, known as a ‘grip’, through the earth bank to let the water away – a few minutes work.

“I was astonished to receive back a reply on February 17 stating ‘any repairs required have now been carried out. No further action is planned at the present time’.

cllr Malcolm Cowancllr Malcolm Cowan

“I knew nothing had been done, as photos [I took] before and after are the same.”

He said the “same story applies across a range of problems – potholes, and even removing a dangerous piece of fence on the verge opposite Stanborough School in Lemsford Lane”.

Matthew Kelley, Ringway’s divisional manager, hit back and said: “Normally we would cut a grip, a short channel, to allow for the dispersion of any water collecting in an area such as this, but the site’s location in deep dip between two embankments means this is not possible.

“Water drained through a grip would run onto the adjacent golf course and cause damage to private property.

Fence posts in Lemsford LaneFence posts in Lemsford Lane

“Our work crews have instead employed a gully cleanser to pump water away and in addition have cut channels into the embankment alongside the road to allow water 
to dissipate.”

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