A drain in an area “notorious” for flooding was tarmacked over by contractors.
Workers for Ringway – Hertfordshire County Council’s highways contractor – were reportedly sent to deal with a pothole in Vicarage Road but were thought to have accidently smothered the adjacent drain as well.
A photograph of the recently-tarmacked area showed significant damage to the road surface remained untouched just inches away.
No more than 48 hours later, the blocked drain had been uncovered.
READ MORE: Continued anger at hole in Vicarage Road
Councillor Nigel Bell, who was alerted to the potential problem by a concerned resident, said it was “shocking” that the drain was allowed to be covered in the first place.
“This is a major area notorious for flooding. It’s shocking that this was allowed to happen,” he said.
However Ringway Divisional Manager Kevin Carrol said the roadside gully was covered temporarily to make safe a pothole that had formed around its frame.
"The follow up permanent repair, which required the use of temporary traffic signals, was completed overnight," he added.
"Undertaking the repair this way enabled a number of other repairs along this section of Vicarage Road to be completed as the same time, ensuring minimal disruption to the travelling public.”
Last year, Vicarage Road was closed for two weeks after a burst pipe caused a nearby sewer to collapse, preventing easy access to Watford General Hospital and Watford Football Club.
Cllr Bell believes Ringway is not providing an acceptable service and has tabled motions of no confidence in the company at county council level, only to be told that the contractor was “improving”.
In November, it was revealed that Ringway was fined more than £1 million over a four year period for carrying out substandard work.