PUBLISHED: 11:19 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010
SIR, — I was briefly browsing St Albans District Council s web site about City Vision and thinking that at last there looked as if some thought might have been given to the many problems facing the community but was soon disillusioned when I saw your fr
SIR, - I was briefly browsing St Albans District Council's web site about "City Vision" and thinking that at last there looked as if some thought might have been given to the many problems facing the community but was soon disillusioned when I saw your front-page headline last week: "City-centre car ban is back on agenda".
It really does seem as though our councillors will never learn. Cllrs Donald and Ellis seem hell bent on pushing an unwanted and unviable scheme to close up our main thoroughfares yet again. The laughable "enhancement" was pushed through against public opinion, traders suffered never to recover, traffic is moving slower than ever and now they want to stop it altogether.
Even on Sunday morning last week southbound traffic was tailing back from the Peahen to Catherine Street. Have our councillors already forgotten the chaos caused when St Peter's Street was closed while the work was going on?
How Cllr Mike Ellis has the gall to say, "One of the prime motivators for the scheme was the positive response from the public to the partial closure during the St Peter's Street enhancement scheme" beggars belief. I would very much like to see his evidence for such a claim. Even at the time it was generally conceded that such accident statistics as had been presented to the public lacked credibility and were greatly misinterpreted. The council could have stopped the scheme when half finished and the folly of it had become evident but no, Cllr Donald told us he "had to seize the moment" and authorise it's ill-conceived completion.
Our councillors would be far better employed in making greater efforts to get the traffic moving freely rather than seeking even more madcap ways to impede it. For example reinstate the hatching at the Victoria Street/St Peter's Street junction, reopen the High Street to full width thus allowing two lines of traffic to go through, one to London Road and and one to Holywell Hill. It is not uncommon for traffic in Verulam Road to be tailed back as far as Church Crescent. They should reconsider the necessity of having four-way phasing for pedestrians at so many junctions. I am not convinced that it improves their safety.
But I think that one of their top priorities should be the enforcement of existing parking regulations. There are so many blatant infringements and our wardens appear to concentrate their efforts on ticketing minimal over-stay offenders rather than the true offenders who cause delay by flagrant breaches of the law and seem to get away with it. A start could be made on market days by stopping the council's own employees from parking their cardboard waste trollies within the zig-zag lines of the crossing outside BHS.
I can only hope that Cllrs Donald and Ellis will have a rethink and take notice of how the people condemned not only the "enhancement" but also it's predecessor, the notorious one-way system of some years earlier
And finally, if they want to brush up their skills then might I suggest they see if they can get places on one of the courses advertised by Oaklands College (Herts Advertiser, March 19). I see there is one for AS level in Government & Politics "designed for those interested in developing their critical and thinking skills".
Townsend Drive, St Albans.