St Albans resident will "no longer cycle to work" because of potholes (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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St Albans resident will "no longer cycle to work" because of potholes
A resident in St Albans said he will "no longer cycle in to work" due to the growing number of pockmarked roads blighting the district.
Complaints and photographs of “ridiculous” pot holes in the city have flooded social networking sites and have been reported to the Review including Victoria Street, Cell Barnes Lane, Kings Road, Park Street, Bricket Road, and Prospect Road.
Alex Walsh, who lives on the Verulam estate, says he has been forced to stop riding his bike to work because of the "hazardous" potholes.
The 38-year-old, said: “The potholes are ridiculous and you often find yourself on a bumpy ride while driving over them.
“The people that seem to be shovelling tarmac in to the holes to disguise the potholes really are a bunch of cow boys.”
The father-of-three said he has tried to make complaints on the Hertfordshire County Council website, however said it was time consuming due to the eight letter and number password to register, which would “probably turn people off”.
One particular eye catching photograph of a pothole in Victoria Street showed exposed cables and wires outside the Iceland food store.
Matthew Kelley, Ringway divisional manager, working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said they were informed about this particular pothole on January 7 and crews attended the site on January 8 to repair it.
Mr Kelley said: “The cables which are visible are used to determine if cars are queuing at the traffic lights and are very low in voltage lower even than a standard battery.
We would like to reassure the public that the cables do not pose any danger.”
Park Street Councillor Stephen Bowes-Phipps, also complained of “countless” potholes appearing across the district particularly in his ward.
The conservative representative, said: “Park Street seems to be falling apart in various locations.
"There is one particular pot hole at the top of Park Street near the BP garage which is particularly bad and cars seem to be swerving to avoid it.
"I am guessing it is because of the recent rain, that we have seen a rise in potholes. There seems to be one appearing every day. “
The conservative backbencher added he hoped plans to resurface Park Street “sooner rather than later” were included in the integrated plan.
Stuart Pile, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Winter weather is particularly damaging for roads.
The formation of potholes during wintry weather is caused by rain water (and thawing snow) seeping into small cracks in the road. As temperatures dip, the water freezes and expands, enlarging the cracks.
"This causes cracks and potholes to appear, overnight in some cases, even in roads that otherwise appear sound.
“ We call this the “freeze-thaw” effect. While temperatures haven't been very cold yet this winter, the temperature has gone below zero on a number of occasions which is all that's needed to do damage.”
Mr Pile added the sustained heavy rain had caused significant damage due to erosion and Ringway was dealing with the repairs.
He reassured potholes that are categorised as hazardous would be repaired within 24 hours and thgey would prefer scheduled long-term, permanent repairs rather than quick temporary fixes.
Residents are encouraged to report any highway problems at www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults or 0300 123 4047.