The roads across Pencombe and Little Cowarne are maintained by Herefordshire Council through their contractor, Balfour Beatty. Central information can be found here.
There are 13 Locality Stewards working across Herefordshire who are trained to inspect local roads, paths, parks and open spaces. The locality stewards provide a vital link between Ward and Parish Councillors and Balfour Beatty operations.
Statutory inspections & road defects
The regime for statutory inspections is as follows:
• ‘A’ roads: completed once a month
• ‘B’ roads: completed once a month
• ‘Priority ‘C’ & ‘U’ roads: competed once a month (includes C1110)
• Other ‘C’ roads: completed once a quarter (includes C1114, C1115 & C1117)
• Other ‘U’ roads: completed once a year
These are driven inspections, carried out with the locality steward and a colleague at low speed, for the purpose of identifying and recording all defects at intervention level present at that time.
The inspections are carried out ahead of all other demands and are not delayed beyond the time frames identified.
Each defect is risk assessed taking into account a range of criteria and categorised:
• Cat 1: A & B roads by end of the following day; all other locations within 7 days
• Cat 2A: Within 28 days
• Cat 2B: Within 2 months
• Cat 2C: Considered for forward programme
Once categorised the Balfour Beatty Operations Team plan a programme to complete the works within the allocated time frame.
Reporting a road problem
Information on reporting a road problem can be found on the Herefordshire Council website here.
The following tools may be useful in identifying if the problem has already been reported:
The Lengthsman Scheme is an initiative introduced by Herefordshire Council to devolve some minor highway works to parish councils. It enables parish councils to identify minor defects and maintenance requirements. Examples of the type of work carried out by the lengthsman include:
• Clearing drains
• Clearing minor storm debris
• Tidying roadsides
• Digging out ditches in verges
• Cutting back overhanging hedges
• Ensuring visibility of traffic signs
• Salt spreading
Pencombe Group Parish Council appoints a contractor annually to act as the lengthsman. The current contractor is M A Walsh & Sons. An annual maintenance plan is submitted to Herefordshire Council each year to propose what works will be carried out over the following twelve months. The Lengthsman Scheme is a standard agenda item at parish council meetings to allow for all works, whether planned or emergency, to be agreed and advised to the lengthsman.
Parish Footpath Officer (FPO)
The FPO is a volunteer who looks after the public right of way (PROW) in the parish – footpaths, bridleways and byways. They will regularly walk the PROW and will report any defects such as broken stiles, missing way markers, over-grown footpaths etc. to the parish council for remedial action. The current FPO for Pencombe is Mrs Margaret Simcock. For Little Cowarne the FPO is Mrs Rebecca Legge
The parish PROW can be found on the parish map or the Herefordshire Council Highways and public rights of way map.