Poor timing

PUBLISHED: 10:33 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

SIR, — For the past week or so there have been large panels in Branch Road, St Albans, giving notice of footpath repairs due to start last Monday, January 5. These panels were already hazardous enough to pedestrians, positioned as they were on the footpat

SIR, - For the past week or so there have been large panels in Branch Road, St Albans, giving notice of footpath repairs due to start last Monday, January 5. These panels were already hazardous enough to pedestrians, positioned as they were on the footpath itself, thus making it necessary for those with prams or pushchairs to walk in the road. Why can the panels not be positioned in the road, leaving a safe footpath for pedestrians?

Taking my grandchildren to Verulamium Park on Monday afternoon, however, I could hardly believe that the footpath opposite the Black Lion had been completely closed to pedestrians from the junction with Fishpool Street, with no attempt made to create an alternative safe passageway for pedestrians. There is only the inadequate - and too narrow for pushchairs etc - "footpath" alongside the Black Lion car park. Moreover that part of Branch Road is only, apparently, to be closed to traffic after 9.30 in the morning. For the time it takes for the repairs to be completed, young children will be making their way to St Michael's School, perhaps with their parents and possibly younger siblings, but quite often unaccompanied by an adult. They therefore have one of two undesirable options - either to walk in the road, or to cross Branch Road, then Fishpool Street, then St Michael's Street in order to reach their school - just as the road turns the corner so reducing visibility for both pedestrians and drivers.

While as a local resident I'm glad to see that something is being done to improve the very unsafe footpath in this area, I find it incredible that the so-called "planners" in County and City Halls have (a) failed to make safe provision for the large number of children and parents walking along Branch Road and St Michael's Street at the beginning and end of the school day and (b) chosen the start of the school term to do this work.

Why on earth could not the most dangerous area - that is at the corner near the Fishpool Street junction - have been tackled last week when school-bound pedestrian traffic would not have been an issue? Surely it doesn't take much common sense to realise that this accident-waiting-to-happen could have been avoided by more intelligent planning and a little bit of foresight.

SUSAN STOKES,

Camlet Way, St Albans.

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