London Road Crossing Update

Reply to the Parish Clerk from Hertfordshire County Council

Dear Sue,

We are continuing to work away on this issue although, as you can appreciate, there is no simple solution – if there was, it would likely have been delivered years ago!

On your specific points:

  1. The SCP report stated that it was not a safe place for a School Crossing Patrol; it did not comment on its general safety as a crossing point or on any alternatives.

    A SCP location needs better visibility than a regular crossing point. With a regular crossing point, you need enough visibility between pedestrians and drivers for pedestrians to identify a safe gap in the traffic and cross within it. Our SCPs do not just wait for a suitable gap; we ask them to step out into live traffic in order to create that gap so that others can cross safely. This means that they need more visibility so that they can see and be seen from further away and, where possible, make eye contact with drivers of approaching vehicles that they intend to stop.

    While we all acknowledge that the current crossing point is far from ideal - although the recent vegetation clearance has substantially improved visibility - the fact remains that it is currently the only available crossing point given that it is where the footway switches from one side of the road to the other. Consideration of any alternative crossing points would depend on the potential future project to extend one or other footway in order to create a suitable alternative crossing location and, as you will appreciate from our discussions at the meeting, that is neither simple nor straightforward. Discussion of other locations at this stage is, therefore, a moot point.

  2. Design work on the wig wags is underway with our contractors although I do not yet have an installation date. Because there are no street lights on this road (and we would usually power wig wags directly off our street lighting electricity supply), these will need a different technical solution to the normal off-the-shelf design, and this is delaying matters slightly. We still aim to get these installed as soon as possible, in the meantime the existing signs with the triangular ‘children crossing’ symbol will remain in place.

  3. We have identified and ordered further substantial maintenance work to the footways on London Road at various points on the whole length between Hertford Heath and the A414. If you walk the footways, you will see red paint marks periodically indicating areas where work is planned. This will involve repairs to the footway surface and removing or trimming back vegetation and overgrowing verges to make better use of the available footway width. We don’t yet have a date for these works; as a substantial project they need to be coordinated with other works on this busy route.

  4. & 5  The land either side of London Road is in the hands of multiple different owners. We have traced and had initial discussions with some of these and are in the process of tracing the right contact with others; the same is true of the offer from Belview golf (and it would appear that at least one parcel of land further down London Road is owned by an individual involved with Belview golf). While we have initiated these discussions, I have to caution that the initial responses so far do not suggest that the landowners would be likely to be willing to dedicate land pro bono which means any potential solution is likely to include long and protracted negotiations. It also means that there will be a limit to how far HCC can and will pursue such discussions until we reach the point where a viable scheme has been identified and approved.

If you recall, one of the reasons for the meeting at County Hall was to get all stakeholders together to see if local contacts could encourage or influence local landowners to cooperate in finding a solution in a way that the County Council cannot. I would therefore ask the Parish Council to continue its own efforts to make contact with, and secure the support of, key local landowners in finding a solution to the current situation.

Bus Timetables

With regard to your questions about the bus timetables, I have spoken to my colleagues in our Passenger Transport Unit who lead on such matters for HCC; they will be responding directly to you on this matter in more detail that I am able to do. I would, however, note that there are two bus services serving the village, the 341 and the 641, and the timetables for them need to be read together to see the full picture. For instance, if I am reading them correctly, there appears to be a 641 service that leaves the College Arms at 7:54 in the morning and a 341 service that leaves Hertford bus station at 16:17, arriving at the College Arms at 16:27.

Kind regards,

Chris Allen-Smith

Group Manager, Eastern Herts; Highway Operations and Strategy
Head of Profession, Asset Management & Maintenance
Hertfordshire County Council

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