Flood-hit Rickmansworth and Watford 'should benefit' from Government roads cash (From Watford Observer)
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Flood-hit Rickmansworth and Watford 'should benefit' from Government roads cash
Areas such as Three Rivers and Watford that were badly damaged by severe flooding earlier this year should benefit from extra Government road repair cash, according to a senior politician.
Stephen Giles Medhurst, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition called on Hertfordshire County Council bosses to focus on areas badly affected after receiving £2.2m from Government.
The Department for Transport confirmed on Friday that the Conservative-run council had been successful in its bid for a share of a £168m national pothole repair fund.
Stephen Giles Medhurst said: "It is good news for residents in Hertfordshire to get this extra money but I want to see it spent on money caused by the storm.
"I want to see that money spent on repairing the damage in places such as Lower High Street, Water Lane and Rickmansworth."
The councillor said there had been discussion at county hall of putting the money into reserves to make up for cash the council has spent during the flooding.
Councillor Giles Medhurst argued it would be "patently wrong" for the council to use money the Government had given for road repairs for anything other than repairs.
In February parts of Rickmansworth submerged for days as the River Colne burst its banks following record rainfall in January.
Homes in Harefield Road were flooded and sandbags being deployed in Park Road to prevent water reaching properties.
In Watford Lower High Street and Water Lane in Watford were badly flooded.
The flooding also came after a very winter which led to the county’s road surfaces deteriorating.
The council estimates that the severe winter weather caused an additional £8.5m of damage to roads and bridges across the county.
Earlier in the year, the government granted us £3.7m of extra funding to help repair flood-related damage.
Water Lane, Watford, during the flood.
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "After some very cold winters we were hoping for some respite for our roads, but the wet weather really took its toll.
"The heavy rain between December and February has had an ongoing impact on the number of potholes forming. I’m pleased that the government responded to our call for more money, although it won’t on its own enable us to repair all the identified damage."