20mph zone for St Albans cathedral area

THE STREETS around St Albans Cathedral look set to become safer after the Department for Transport gave the go ahead for Herts County Council to implement a 20mph zone.

The green light was given at a recent meeting to begin the consultation process with a view to implementing the zone around the cathedral area within the next 12 months, which residents say will vastly improve the safety levels for those living around and about.

Geraint John, who represents the group of residents’ associations which had united behind the scheme to bring the zone to the area, said the announcement had delighted all those who had pushed for the zone.

He added: “It’s a step forwards to ensure that the quality of life is greatly improved for all that live there and it makes it safer for all. We wanted to avoid a plethora of signs all around the area and my understanding is that we’ll be supported with this, although there are still some little things to be discussed during the consultation period.”

Aboyne Residents Association, Fishpool Street, Verulam Road and St Michael’s and Kingsbury residents associations grouped together with The Friends of Victoria Playing Field and St Albans Civic Society to press for the zone back in 2009 and because of the size of it, approval had to be granted by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The process proved particularly lengthy until Cllr Julian Daly, who is also chair of the Highways Joint Member Panel, requested the assistance of MP Anne Main, whom he believes helped hurry along the civil service’s decision making.

He said: “Now there’s a process to go through to ask and identify if we have support for it. This will help tweak any problems that arise.

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“There are other parts of St Albans where a zone like this might be applicable and this is the chance to work out how to do it and how much it will cost.”

Special permission was granted by the DfT to exclude roads from traffic calming requirements such as signs on every street which would have been detrimental to the conservation area’s appearance and instead allow for the signs to go up to indicate to drivers that they had now entered the zone.

The consultation is expected to begin early/mid May.