Herts Ad Comment:: Roads around St Albans are already overloaded

Herts Advertiser comment

Herts Advertiser comment - Credit: Archant

Anyone who has ever sat for the best part of an hour in a restaurant waiting for a partner to arrive will know that once you have gone through all the worst possible scenarios, the most likely explanation is that somewhere in St Albans - and indeed Harpenden - the traffic is snarled up.

And that proved to be exactly the case on Tuesday night - but instead of the usual cause such as breakdowns or accidents, it was because train services were up the creek.

Commuter services out of London were stopped at St Albans after overhead lines came down at Luton and while northbound bus replacement services were laid on, it appears that most travellers got their nearest and dearest to drive over to the city station to pick them up.

The result was gridlocked roads through the city centre, frustrated and angry motorists not knowing what was going on and much cursing about road congestion and overcrowding.

Ok, this was a rare incident and might never happen again but it brings into sharp focus how the road system in the district can so easily slide into chaos. After all, the district is surrounded by motorways and anyone travelling into St Albans or Harpenden in the mornings listens to the travel news with a sinking heart in case the M1/M25/A1M is disrupted in Hertfordshire.

So while many might think St Albans MP Anne Main is flogging a dead horse by still demanding answers about the impact on the roads if rail freight becomes lorry freight should the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange be built in Park Street, she is to be congratulated.

For not only has Mrs Main not been given any assurances from Network Rail about the impact on commuter services of freight traffic into the site but with the apparent decline in rail freight, the obvious scenario is more HGVs on the roads. And the St Albans district needs that like a hole in the head.