Concern over ‘lethal’ potholes across Dacorum

Pothole photo tweeted by Cllr Adrian England
Pothole photo tweeted by Cllr Adrian England

More needs to be done to fix “lethal” potholes to prevent potential accidents during bad weather and icy conditions.

That’s the view of Chris White, Lib Dem Herts County Councillor, who thinks it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident.

Chris White

Chris White

He said: “It’s going mad. The frost is driving the Tarmac out of the road. What I would urge people to be doing is reporting any potholes that they see.

“And the county council need to get out there and fix them because there are some potentially lethal ones.”

He explained icy weather combined with rainfall creates more potholes on the roads because rain water expands in the cracks and causes larger chunks to break away.

And he said drivers are damaging their cars or creating hazards for oncoming traffic as they swerve to avoid the potholes.

Dacorum Borough Councillor Adrian England tweeted a picture of a gaping hole on the A414, close to The Plough, travelling into Hemel Hempstead this week.

Councillor White added: “If a car or bike hits some of these, it’s a write-off, or worse, so the council has got to get its act together. “

Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said the council is doing its best to deal with the vast amount of potholes across the county.

“The winter period, particularly with frost and rain will always bring forward potholes,” he said.

“It’s sadly an inevitable fact, but to put things into perspective, we fix 10,000 potholes each year.

“We have resurfaced 1.9million sq ft of roads, using different methods,so that reflects the enormity of the task.

“Some years we are lucky and the weather is fine. This year, it’s not been particularly wet, but has been very cold.”

The county council operates a triage inspection service which helps highways contractor, Ringway, to respond to reported defects more effectively and efficiently.

Mr Douris said this approach has reduced service costs which will be reinvested in the maintenance service.

The triage approach means that when a fault is reported, a qualified inspector visits the location, makes an assessment and arranges for the most appropriate work to be carried out. This work may be to permanently repair an individual pothole or to plan the resurfacing of a wider area of road.

Have you been affected? Email thegazette@jpress.co.uk