Will craterous Queensway be earmarked for improvement if council wins government pothole bid?

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

Herts County Council has confirmed it will be bidding for a share of a £168 million pothole fund to repair damaged roads across the county.

Cabinet member for highways Terry Douris said that while he could not confirm the amount requested, Herts is hoping to receive a grant from the fund as announcedin Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget statement last month.

If successful in its application, the council will have to sign a pothole pledge and set out the number of potholes they will have repaired by March next year.

Mr Douris said: “We know we’ve got an awful lot of potholes, as a result of the bad weather we have had, so we have put in a bid for the works to take place.”

The councillor, who also sits on Dacorum Borough Council and lives in Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, identified two dangerous stretches of road along the town’s Queensway as needing repair.

The problem has been identified by motorcyclist Gareth Hall, while Lib Dem borough councillor Ron Tindall called for better safety measures in the area.

But Mr Douris also said this particular issue is down to the use of skid-resistant treatment on the road, which causes adhesion problems making potholes worse. He said: “We subsequently discovered that in bad weather the treatment breaks up and damages the road beneath it even more. It was put down for a good reason but we now recognise the impact it may have in bad weather.

“Going forward we will be far more circumspect about what we put down for this reason.”

The total government fund is enough to fix more than 3 million potholes around the country and will be offered alongside a £10 billion grant offered by the Department for Transport to improve road maintenance in England.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:“Part of this government’s long term plan is investing in our roads. Potholes are a menace for all road users which is why this extra funding is provided in addition to the £10 billion already committed for councils for road maintenance. I want councils to rise to the challenge and to reward councils who come up with new and better ways of making repairs quickly and effectively.

“With this new pothole fund councils will need to clearly set out the scale of the work they are doing, and local communities can have certainty that the money is being spent fixing potholes on their local roads.”