A council is set to spend thousands of pounds on maintaining ‘smiley face’ speed indicators across the county.

Councillors agreed during a Hertfordshire County Council meeting on Monday that 290 indicators, known as SIDs, which have been installed since 2015 will be given a five year extended warranty.

If approved by Cabinet, it means members of the council will pay £1,000 per SID over the next five years out of their locality budget to highways maintenance contractor Ringway.

This would see the contractor receive up to £290,000 to carry out work on the SIDs if they are needed.

However, Liberal Democrat Councillor Stephen Giles Medhurst slammed the plans, calling them “outrageous”.

He said: “The Conservative members of the council’s Highways Panel seemed to think that this was a good deal - I dont'.

“Even allowing for the increased age of the signs, which might mean they need more repairs, this is an outrageously large amount to be paying the contractor on a maybe that repairs might be required when they have needed so little attention in the past.”

It was revealed on Monday that between 2015/16 and 2018/19 there were a total of 43 SIDs reported as faulty.

Cllr Medhurst added: “Unless they are very unlucky Ringway are going to make a massive profit, taking money that could have been spent on improving roads and pavements.”

But Cllr Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Environment at Herts County Council, said that as the SIDs get older the more is costs to maintain, which is why the extended warranty was proposed.

And he said that if members don’t want to pay the warranty, they can pay £100 out of their locality budget to remove the SID.

Cllr Bibby said: “In some areas such as Stevenage we have seen some of the SIDs start to go wrong.

“We put forward the warranty as there has been a real public demand from members in the council and from the public to have them.”