Is cavernous road in need of urgent attention? Councillor wades in to Queensway fight

Junction between Queensway and Great Road, Hemel Hempstead
Junction between Queensway and Great Road, Hemel Hempstead

A county councillor has taken on a highways officer at his own local authority in the fight to resurface a ‘dangerous’ stretch of road in Hemel Hempstead.

Liberal Democrat Ron Tindall, who represents the Hemel Hempstead St Paul’s division at County Hall, has written to Rob Smith, deputy director for transport and environment management, to challenge him to resurface three areas of Queensway in the next academic year.

The road has been identified as a major source of frustration for cyclists and motorists alike – in particular the pothole-ridden patch at its junction with Great Road.

Mr Tindall revealed he will set aside £2,000 from his current locality budget – the amount estimated it would cost to repair the damage – to spur action from the county’s highways department in the area.

He said: “Although I believe this is not the work for which the budget was established, it seems to me that unless I authorise the expenditure, not a lot will happen.

“I am taking this decision on the basis that there will be action from highways in 2015-16. If there is not, I should expect the £2,000 to be refunded to my local highways budget.

“In the meantime, residents and through travellers will still have to suffer the difficulties presented by the disintegration of Queensway which, of course, may lead to claims against the council for damage to vehicles.”

The same area was complained about by road user Steve Day, who also took it upon himself to write to Mr Smith in the hope it would be fixed as a priority. He was told the road was earmarked for consideration in the autumn.

Mr Day proceeded to launch a social networking poll asking people whether they believe areas of Queensway need urgent resurfacing, with more than 40 responders agreeing it does. Just four posters voted otherwise.

As well as the adjoining stretch with Great Road, Councillor Tindall also highlighted the junctions of Queensway with the Redbourn Road and with St Pauls Road as problem areas in his letter.

He continued: “I realise that the financial resources of the county council are limited, but do believe that Queensway is a priority that needs attention.”

The county council discovered earlier this month that it had been successful in its bid for a share of a £168million national pothole repair fund offered by central government.

However, the £2.2million cash injection offered will only go some way to rectifying the estimated £8.5million of damage to roads and bridges across the county, caused by bad weather over the last winter. Click here for more.