A 5ft deep manhole has been left uncovered for just under a month.

Hertfordshire County Council were first made aware of the problem on October 30 - but did not think it was enough of a priority to fix.

The pit, on Hayling Road in South Oxhey, is surrounded by leaves and has sharp shards of metal and bricks at the bottom. Three Rivers District councillor Andrew Scarth said it is barely visible at night.

Watford Observer:

He said: "This pit is similar to the kind of man traps I saw in Vietnam.

“Mischievous children keep sliding the cover off the top and it really needs to be fixed.

“In the dark, winter months it’s almost impossible to see the hole – especially with all the fallen leaves. If the council doesn’t act soon, somebody is going to get seriously hurt.

“If somebody falls down that hole they will be very badly injured and I can’t imagine what could happen if it was a child."

In an email addressed to cllr Scarth on November 4, the council said that though it had reviewed the situation, it was not planning to carry out any work.

The email said the council prioritises “issues which have to compete for funding” to ensure the most dangerous faults are fixed first.

Kevin Carrol, Ringway divisional manager, working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said: "A loose manhole cover in Hayling Road, South Oxhey was reported in early November.

"It was classified as a low maintenance priority in accordance with the County Council’s Defect Management approach. However, given the local concern, the manhole will be inspected later this week.

"This will enable us to determine both its ownership and what is required to make the area safe to the public."