In August last year this article appeared in the Herts Advertiser. A concerned resident had criticised the county council for not maintaining a rundown path alongside a busy road. The path is on the north side of Hatfield Road, about 100m east of the junction with Lyon Way. Apparently the HCC contractor, Ringway, inspected the footway and found no defects requiring immediate attention. Although it is only a footpath the issue came up for discussion at a CycleHerts meeting where we decided to follow it up. I don’t have the details to hand but it seems that someone from HCC then claimed that they had no duty to maintain the path because it is not tarmacked. In fact it is tarmacked but the section in question was completely covered in mud so you wouldn’t know it (though you could make a pretty good guess based on the fact that the tarmac is visible along much of the rest of the path).
So yesterday I decided to go along with a shovel and loppers to clear a short section and take photos to prove that there is tarmac underneath. I got a bit carried away and cleared about ten metres. In the before and after photos below you can see a well worn trail between the kerb and the lamp post where people have been walking dangerously close to the traffic to avoid the mud and overhanging branches. Although this was probably the worst section, much of the path is in need of similar maintenance.
This footpath is finally getting some much needed attention. Unfortunately it is not being upgraded for duel use by bicycles but I guess there wasn’t the necessary width available. It is however being completely rebuilt with concrete curbs and a tarmac surface.