Following pressure from Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Highways spokesperson, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, (Central Watford and Oxhey), Hertfordshire County Council has agreed that it needs to out in place a co-coordinated Cycleway Maintenance Strategy.
Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who took up cycling again last year after a 25 year break, has been pursuing Hertfordshire County Council about the lack of any formal program for the long term maintenance of its cycle routes and cycle tracks. Last year he got the Conservative run administration to agree that it needs a formal maintenance strategy and the first draft of this was presented to the Highways and Waste Panel on Tuesday (4th February).
“Frankly I was fed up finding, like many cyclists, that the cycle lanes and tracks were never being maintained and even if they were they were, were low down the list . I had to repeatedly raise the issue of potholes too large for cycles to ride through and so much and many over grown ones I got fed up asking for action. I then found there was no one clear programme of maintenance and that often officers just ignored such routes – especially leaving potholes at the road side whilst fixing those in the middle of the road that drivers could more safety travel over” said Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.
The Highways and Waste Panel accepted the draft strategy presented by officers but Cllr Stephen Gilles-Medhurst insisted it still had gaps and did not do enough to address key concerns, especially over the simplest problems over like low lying and overgrown trees blocking routes and potholes at the road edge being ignored. As a result, the Strategy is being revised and will be brought to the July meeting for final approval. Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst has also insisted that cycling groups be consulted on it.
Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said , “I am delighted that progress is being made and that cyclist and cycle routes will be recognised as a core priority; after all it’s a transport modal shift and certainly ecology friendly whilst keeping you fit! I am just disappointed that I had not recognised this issue earlier and that until now it had been ignored.”