As a British cyclist conquers the toughest race on the planet for the second year in a row, one keen bike fan has spoken out about Hertfordshire’s dangerous and pothole-ridden roads.
Chris Froome was crowned Toru de France champion at the weekend, succeeding Bradley Wiggins as the holder of the coveted yellow jersey.
The renewed success of British riders on the world stage is expected to encourage more people out on to the roads on two wheels – but personal trainer Will McAllister from Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, who covers hundreds of miles on his energetic trips, says that at a time when the government is encouraging us all to get more exercise, the shocking stage of local roads could put people off getting in the saddle at all.
He said: “You are constantly having to be aware that potentially your life is in danger because you could hit these big ruts in the road, it is totally unsafe.
“Just getting out of Hemel Hempstead is a nightmare.”
Will claims that Herts compares badly neighbouring counties, and after cycling almost 130 miles to Norfolk for a weekend trip he said: “Hertforshire really does stand out.”
During his 61/2 hour journey he travelled through Herts, Cambs, Suffolk and Norfolk.
Will, who works at the Beta Health Clinic in Marlowes, did the same journey three years ago and says road conditions have deteriorated.
“It is just going to rack and ruin but the council tax is still going up,” he said.
“If you are not going to work hand in hand with cyclists to improve roads how can they expect to get people out of their cars?
“It is a community responsibility that they have got and they’re not living up to it.”
In his bid for roadwork action Will has tweeted Herts County Council and Prime Minister David Cameron but so far has not had a response from either.
“Nobody seems to be bothered,” said Will, who has been cycling for 30 years.
A spokesman for Herts County Council, which is in charge of maintaining the roads, said: “We carry out regular inspections of the county’s roads and pavements, but members of the public are able to help us spot and deal with any defects between inspections by reporting them to us via the council online reporting system at www.hertsdirect.org/