Wrong priority

PUBLISHED: 10:27 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

SIR, — Re the Village Gateway feature due for construction this month at the Sainsbury s roundabout in Barnet Road, Colney Heath. Can Herts Highways disclose the estimated cost of this scheme? Would I be correct in thinking that the amount of taxpayers

SIR, - Re the "Village Gateway" feature due for construction this month at the Sainsbury's roundabout in Barnet Road, Colney Heath.

Can Herts Highways disclose the estimated cost of this scheme? Would I be correct in thinking that the amount of taxpayers' money to be spent on such tarting-up projects of the highway is meant to be justified by the reduction in carriageway width restricting the flow and speed of motor traffic and thereby avoidance of a perceived accident risk?

Perhaps Herts Highways could also advise me how this project estimate compares with the cost of repairing the dangerous - in particular to two-wheeled road-users - road areas riddled with potholes and deeply-abraded surfacing that exist just a few metres away from this project. I refer to the stretch of westbound carriageway between the Sainsbury's roundabout and the junction of Willowside, where there is scarcely a length of five metres or so that is safely rideable within two metres of the kerb. The entrance to the Sainsbury's service road and Ridgeview Lodge is especially dangerous.

There are many such stretches of road in and around London Colney. I would cite much of the whole length of Barnet Road and High Street, in particular the so-called safer-surfaced section over the Colne bridge, the junction of St Ann's Road where almost the entire road width across this junction is dangerously potholed and rutted and the southbound bend 50 metres from the roundabout at the north end of the village - just to name three of the worst areas.

There are several other dangerous examples nearby. In particular I would cite most of the carriageway in Bell Lane (both sides), the southern half of the roundabout at the westbound exit of Junction 22 of the M25 and the diabolical mess on the bend leaving this roundabout on St Albans Road (B556) southbound.

Could Herts Highways also tell me for how long this marvellous gateway feature has been planned and perhaps compare this to the incredible length of time that these abominable local road-surface conditions have pertained. My estimate is at least 15 years for the worsening state of most of the examples I have given and I suspect this is probably conservative.

I doubt the new gateway will do much for my safety when I cycle into the village from this direction. Until Herts Highways' paymasters find the means to divert some funding from the much-vaunted county maintenance programme to this area, I shall be forced to continue to ride with my own speed-reducing safety measure - that is by cycling within the two metres left of the centre-line of the carriageway where it is (generally) unrutted, creating an obvious obstruction to following motor vehicles whose speed is thereby reduced considerably. Am I entitled to a grant for such road-safety imposing measures?

JOHN PEARSON,

Willowside, London Colney.

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