Beat the jams

SIR, — I read with interest the article headlined Jams today and jams tomorrow (Herts Advertiser, February 28) with regard to traffic congestion in St Albans on days when there are problems on the M1. I notice that Stephen Joseph is concerned about the

SIR, - I read with interest the article headlined "Jams today and jams tomorrow" (Herts Advertiser, February 28) with regard to traffic congestion in St Albans on days when there are problems on the M1.

I notice that Stephen Joseph is concerned about the traffic problems in the city centre and thinks public transport should abound. A simple method to ending the standstill traffic in the city centre on days when the motorways are closed for accidents etc. would surely be better signage. At the present time there are no signs to guide drivers anywhere other than the city centre. The normal route for anyone off their normal beaten track is to head roughly in the right direction and hope you find a sign telling you where the motorway can be rejoined.

There are huge direction boards on all approaches to the city centre. Why can't there be simple signs attached to these boards pointing the drivers to the M1 or M25 around the ring roads? The ring roads were put there for taking traffic away from the city centre donkeys years ago and worked fine then, so why can't they work now?

A sign on the approach to the Ancient Briton junction on the A1081 would guide strangers driving cars, lorries or vans to the right along Batchwood Drive to Junction 6 of the M1 or Junction 21A of the M25 without them going near the city centre. A sign pointing in the opposite direction along Beech Road, Marshalswick Lane, Beechwood Avenue, Ashley Road, London Road, would enable drivers to get to Junction 22 of the M25. Provided all signs along the ring road were signposted towards the M1 or M25, it would surely make life easier instead of St Albans city centre being gridlocked.

A similar sign on the A5183 to point drivers to the M1 up Bluehouse Hill, King Harry Lane, Watford Road would also remove a considerable quantity of drivers from the city centre. From the approach to the M1 drivers could access the M25 at Junction 21A to head east or west. There is also the M10/A414 and the A405 that could guide drivers.

When the city centre was "enhanced" it created a bottleneck that causes so much traffic to sit in St Peter's Street day in and day out. There is so little space for traffic but so much space for so few visitors to the city centre. Whoever the "consultants" were who dreamt up another disastrous scheme for traffic management in St Albans should give the district council a refund. It would certainly make sense to have bus lanes - however there is no space in St Peter's Street because of the "enhancement".

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Some of us have no choice but to use our own vehicles as there is no access to bus services. A three-quarter-mile walk to catch a bus for a disabled person is just not feasible, whatever way you look at it.

Mr Joseph suggests more bus services. However the buses used are far too large for some routes. I frequently see buses using the roads during the day where there are only about five people using a 51-seater bus. Where is the point in using excess fuel when hardly anyone uses the service out of rush-hour? Why not use "hoppa-stoppa" buses during hours away from rush-hour?

St Albans is badly in need of somebody who knows what they are talking about - a proper consultant - to sort out the traffic problems but I am sure that a few little green signs showing the motorway access would help considerably without excessive costs to the local council tax payers. Herts Highways just seem to want to spend money willy nilly without any concern for how some local residents can afford it. I suppose the attitude is: "It is not our money so why should we care how much it costs."


Bedmond Lane, St Albans.