Concerns over potholes reported in the Watford, Bushey and Three Rivers areas

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

A winter pothole explosion in south west Hertfordshire has been blamed on heavy rain and freezing temperatures during December.

A dozen pockmarked roads have been reported to the Watford Observer, spanning the Watford, Bushey and Three Rivers areas.

They include Water Lane, St Albans Road, Farraline Road, Deacons Hill and Stratford Way in Watford.

Mel Owen said potholes bent one of her car’s wheels and damaged the rear coil.

She said: "Last month I had my car fixed, but I couldn't pinpoint it to a specific pothole.

"It cost a couple of hundred pounds to fix which was not great at the end of November with Christmas coming.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there is some damage again after the huge pothole in Field Way, Mill End."

Other holes were reported in Park Avenue and Aldenham Road in Bushey, Oxhey Lane in Carpenders Park, Loudwater Lane in Rickmansworth, Field Way in Mill End, Sandy Lane in Northwood and Bridge Road in Hunton Bridge.

Stuart Pile, cabinet member for highways and transport, blamed the weather for causing the damage to the roads.

He promised hazardous potholes would be temporarily repaired within 24 hours, but added permanent repairs were preferable.

Councillor Pile said: "The formation of potholes during wintry weather is caused by rain water and thawing snow seeping into small cracks in the road.

"As temperatures dip, the water freezes and expands, enlarging the cracks. This causes cracks and potholes to appear, overnight in some cases, even in roads that otherwise appear sound.

"The sustained heavy rain we've seen over the last few weeks will have caused significant damage and our highways contractor, Ringway, will be dealing with making repairs on our behalf."

Matthew Kelley, Ringway divisional manager, said he would be working with the county council to "identify the most efficient and effective interventions for the defects being reported on a case-by-case basis" but couldn’t identify which potholes would be fixed first.

County councillor for Central Watford and Oxhey Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said some of the potholes he reported months ago have still not been repaired.

He added: "I am reporting dozens of faults a day, there is a continuing problem. The weather is not helping, but the county council is not investing enough money in dealing with the problem.

"I’m beginning to question exactly what Ringway is doing, some of the potholes I reported months ago still haven’t been looked at.

"I reported a lighting fault on December 8 in Boundary Way, and I’ve just been emailed four weeks later to say they schedule a site inspection. There is quite clearly a backlog and they have to pull their finger out."

Councillor Giles-Medhurst suggested that the delay could be costly, as any damage caused by a reported pothole would have to be compensated by the council.

He said: "If potholes have been reported and not fixed and there is an accident or someone breaks their ankle then the council will have to cover it."

Potholes can be reported on www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults or by telephoning 0300 123 4047.

Any claims submitted for damage to vehicles will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Comments (10)

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11:27am Thu 3 Jan 13

Sara says...

It's not a surprise to anyone that these pot holes increase in size and number every winter.

The county council and its contractors should be able to plan their financial and other resources to ensure they can deal with the damaged road surfaces when they occur.
It's not a surprise to anyone that these pot holes increase in size and number every winter. The county council and its contractors should be able to plan their financial and other resources to ensure they can deal with the damaged road surfaces when they occur. Sara
  • Score: 0

11:38am Thu 3 Jan 13

drunkenduck says...

It least they're slowing down some speedy motorist, so that's some good news.
It least they're slowing down some speedy motorist, so that's some good news. drunkenduck
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Thu 3 Jan 13

E.Coli says...

drunkenduck wrote:
It least they're slowing down some speedy motorist, so that's some good news.
the words of a complete bell end
[quote][p][bold]drunkenduck[/bold] wrote: It least they're slowing down some speedy motorist, so that's some good news.[/p][/quote]the words of a complete bell end E.Coli
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Andrew1963 says...

Patching is often useless. In Blenheim Close a pothole has been repatched every winter for the last 7 years. Each autumn it starts to break up again. What is needed is 10 m2 dug out and replaced with a proper repair. This year the very wet weather seems to be worse than the last few years of very cold December's for damaging the rioad surface. Plus the heavy rain has again exposed the failure to maintain drains and gutters. It seems so obvious that a central government financed plan to repair and renovate the highway network would generate savings for businesses and residents, and kick start the economy. Instead they want to spend £billions (so the money is there), on brand new roads and railways. These will take years to deliver the economic benefits that maintaining what we have to a high standard would achieve.
Patching is often useless. In Blenheim Close a pothole has been repatched every winter for the last 7 years. Each autumn it starts to break up again. What is needed is 10 m2 dug out and replaced with a proper repair. This year the very wet weather seems to be worse than the last few years of very cold December's for damaging the rioad surface. Plus the heavy rain has again exposed the failure to maintain drains and gutters. It seems so obvious that a central government financed plan to repair and renovate the highway network would generate savings for businesses and residents, and kick start the economy. Instead they want to spend £billions (so the money is there), on brand new roads and railways. These will take years to deliver the economic benefits that maintaining what we have to a high standard would achieve. Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Thu 3 Jan 13

croxleyite says...

It's a dirgrace, the state of the roads around Croxley have been like this for years and years, and then when planned re-surfacing takes place, it happens on roads that have the least potholes! sort it out Herts Highways!
It's a dirgrace, the state of the roads around Croxley have been like this for years and years, and then when planned re-surfacing takes place, it happens on roads that have the least potholes! sort it out Herts Highways! croxleyite
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Wacko Jacko says...

Stuart Pile's claim that repairs will be done within 24hrs surprises me. My impression is holes stay unfilled for weeks and once filled the repair breaks up in a very short time only to need repairing again. Andrew1963 is right, these need proper repairs, not temporary fixes. I suggest everyone gets on to www.hertsdirect.org and reports their local pothole to test the claim
Stuart Pile's claim that repairs will be done within 24hrs surprises me. My impression is holes stay unfilled for weeks and once filled the repair breaks up in a very short time only to need repairing again. Andrew1963 is right, these need proper repairs, not temporary fixes. I suggest everyone gets on to www.hertsdirect.org and reports their local pothole to test the claim Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Well said Wacko Jacko and everyone else. But are pot holes worse than those speed humps? But I'm not sure there is sufficient monitoring of who does the road work and to what standard with the use of sub contractors, out sourcing etc. Will WBC litter / bin collection service improve in quality with out sourcing? The British public is being asked to put with alot of grief eg higher rail fares with no measureable increase in quality. The daily service to St Albans is dreadful.
Well said Wacko Jacko and everyone else. But are pot holes worse than those speed humps? But I'm not sure there is sufficient monitoring of who does the road work and to what standard with the use of sub contractors, out sourcing etc. Will WBC litter / bin collection service improve in quality with out sourcing? The British public is being asked to put with alot of grief eg higher rail fares with no measureable increase in quality. The daily service to St Albans is dreadful. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Well said Wacko Jacko and everyone else. But are pot holes worse than those speed humps? But I'm not sure there is sufficient monitoring of who does the road work and to what standard with the use of sub contractors, out sourcing etc. Will WBC litter / bin collection service improve in quality with out sourcing? The British public is being asked to put with alot of grief eg higher rail fares with no measureable increase in quality. The daily service to St Albans is dreadful.
Well said Wacko Jacko and everyone else. But are pot holes worse than those speed humps? But I'm not sure there is sufficient monitoring of who does the road work and to what standard with the use of sub contractors, out sourcing etc. Will WBC litter / bin collection service improve in quality with out sourcing? The British public is being asked to put with alot of grief eg higher rail fares with no measureable increase in quality. The daily service to St Albans is dreadful. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

5:39pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Wacko Jacko says...

HCC just failed my 24 hour test, my nearest deep pothole remains reported, but unfilled. Am I surprised? Stuart Pile needs to wise up to the reality that the HCC system is rubbish and their new highways contractor is useless too.
HCC just failed my 24 hour test, my nearest deep pothole remains reported, but unfilled. Am I surprised? Stuart Pile needs to wise up to the reality that the HCC system is rubbish and their new highways contractor is useless too. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Tue 8 Jan 13

TRT says...

There are dozens and dozens of street lights out of action too. I'm not sure their online reporting tool works anymore. In September I reported two lights out on the main road outside my home, still not fixed but the job was cleared from the system. I've reported sunken road surfaces on Clarendon Road and Cassio Road, they've not been tackled...
There are dozens and dozens of street lights out of action too. I'm not sure their online reporting tool works anymore. In September I reported two lights out on the main road outside my home, still not fixed but the job was cleared from the system. I've reported sunken road surfaces on Clarendon Road and Cassio Road, they've not been tackled... TRT
  • Score: 0

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