In the last few weeks I have received a lot of complaints from local Chells Manor residents about the re-surfacing of The White Way, and I would like to make some facts clear. The re-surfacing work is being paid for from my Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) Highways Locality Budget (HLB) and is costing about £45,000 out of my annual £90,000 allowed budget. The road surface is the original one and is in need of attention. In 13/14 I was able to afford to re-surface the two bell mouths and a central section. In 14/15 I chose to re-surface the rest of the road to preserve its useful life.
However, the 14/15 re-surfacing is in two distinct stages. First, the contractor did extensive patching works and this was completed in less than 3 days from 20 March. A lot of people have complained to me that the road now looks a mess, so I need to make clear that it is currently not yet finished, and that stage 2 will follow around 29 May, when the surface dressing will be done – it should take less than a day to do – and then there will be a good surface along the entire length, which should last some years. White lining and signage etc. will then follow.
The contractor and engineers choose the phasing and dates of the works, and I have no power over these aspects. However, for stage 2, I have been consulted over the letter and information which should go to residents and I have made other requests too:
- Access to properties to be maintained at all times, except for inevitable short delays if work is actually in progress.
- It is made clear that the road is not completely closed for several days, but only for parts of one day during the overall envelope of time (5 days) given in the letter.
- Gate people are stationed at both ends to direct traffic if necessary.
- No consequential queues are caused on Fairlands Way and Gresley Way.
- Road side signs will agree with the letter.
- The letter to go to all properties in roads leading off The White Way.
- The bus companies to be informed in good time.
For the stage 1 works on The White Way, the recent closure of Mobbsbury Way and the overnight working on Martins Way, these things were not all done properly and the quality of information to residents was appallingly bad or completely absent – despite my best efforts and repeated requests from me to HCC/the contractors. I hope that HCC and the contractors achieve the stage 2 White Way works with fewer bungles.