Road users across Hampshire are being urged to be vigilant after a recent spate of drain cover thefts across the county – leaving openings in the road which could cause a potential hazard to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
The latest position is that 68 items across 28 roads have been taken from across the south of the county including in Swanmore, Waltham Chase, Curdridge and Botley and it’s cost taxpayers more than £100,000.
“I urge all road users to take extra care on the roads at this time while we do all we can to make the affected areas safe as quickly as possible,” says Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment.
“As soon as we became aware of the issue following reports from the Police, Highways teams have been out on the road network, to make safe the affected sites with cones and/or barriers and assess the type of replacement drain covers needed so new ones can be sourced and ordered.
“Our teams are also exploring the availability of replacement items which are made from innovative composite alternatives that have no scrap value, but these are unlikely to be suitable for all sites and they are only intended as a temporary fix.
“Whoever is taking these drain covers is putting road users’ safety at risk and I remain hopeful that the Police will be successful in quickly catching those responsible. I am aware that their investigations are ongoing. If anyone sees anything suspicious, please report it to the Police straight away.”
Anyone who has seen anything suspicious or who has information about the stolen drain covers or wishes to report a stolen drain cover to the police, please report it via Hampshire Police’s online reporting system: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
The cost so far to the County Council of making the affected areas safe and sourcing replacement drain covers is in excess of £100,000.
Affected locations road users should be aware of are:
Bell Davies Road
Reading Room Lane