Highways contractor Ringway says ‘significant progress’ has been made after poor performance warning

Uneven surface on Barnacres Road, Hemel Hempstead.
Uneven surface on Barnacres Road, Hemel Hempstead.

Highways contractor Ringway has come under fire at County Hall as exasperated drivers berate ropey roads in Hemel Hempstead.

Barnacres Road was resurfaced only a week ago, yet already broken up pieces of tarmac are causing problems for motorists.

Dave Puddephatt of Bennetts End said: “I think it is absolutely disgusting. The job obviously hasn’t been done properly.”

But Ringway representatives called to a full meeting of Herts County Council on Tuesday say significant progress has been made in its overall service delivery in recent weeks.

The multinational company had its first showdown with the council in January, when it was presented with a formal early warning notice for poor performance since taking over in October.

The firm admitted it had failed in some areas and apologised, with regional director Jerry Pert saying it may take more time to reach the expected standard.

He said: “In relation to urgent responses, there has been a large reduction in outstanding faults across the whole service, even allowing for the winter conditions.

“We firmly believe that, working together and in partnership with the council, a contract compliant, efficient and cost-effective highways service can be operating fully by the end of June.”

Stuart Pile, cabinet member for highways and transport, said in his report to the council: “Ringway are responsible for the action plan and for delivering the contracted service, but county officers are working closely with them to validate, advise on, review and monitor it.”