SIR, — I am writing to correct some points raised by St Albans District Councillor Mike Wakely in his letter (Herts Advertiser, June 5). Regarding Hatching Green, the road was widened by the developer with the consent of Harpenden Town Council. Herts High
SIR, - I am writing to correct some points raised by St Albans District Councillor Mike Wakely in his letter (Herts Advertiser, June 5).
Regarding Hatching Green, the road was widened by the developer with the consent of Harpenden Town Council. Herts Highways, as the Highway Authority, did not give the permission. The Defra permission referred to in Cllr Wakely's letter does not simply allow these changes to remain in place. New legislation has taken further measures to protect common land and this has made making this kind of change even more difficult.
I can confirm that we have received £39,000 but this is not for a widening scheme at Hatching Green junction - it has been earmarked for safety improvements on Redbourn Lane. While any offers of additional money from the developer would, in the first instance, seem generous, a public body cannot simply change formal permissions and agreements as a result. The provision of a footpath to the rugby club would not remove or solve the problems that Redbourn Lane has.
Cllr Wakely also mentioned the pavements under Walkers Road bridge. These have been designed so that they allow the safest and best pedestrian access possible while also allowing large vehicles to pass through safely.
In relation to the traffic-calming measures on Piggottshill Lane - measures that were supported by the town and district councils - these have been built to Department of Transport guidelines and have had a positive effect on reducing traffic speed. The criteria for speed cameras are not met by this stretch of road.
Over the last two years Herts County Council has spent an extra £20m, over and above our normal budgets, on improving local roads and pavements through the Highways Extra programme. Between Highways Extra and our normal Herts Highways programmes, we have laid over 3.5 million square metres of new surface over the last two years. That includes 24 roads in Harpenden given a new surface during that period.
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Herts Highways always welcomes comments on our schemes from the public and can be contacted either on 01438 737320 or via the website on www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults
CLLR STUART PILE,
Executive Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, Herts County Council.