“Just get on and finish it!”: Impatience grows over delays in installing 20mph limits

Albert Street. Picture: Danny Loo.

Albert Street. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

Impatience is growing following a four-year delay in installing 20mph limits on side streets around Holywell Hill in St Albans.

Herts County Council is being blamed for leaving residents and the local councillor in the dark over the process.

Cllr Chris White, who represents St Albans Central, said: “It was originally felt by residents we would try a 20mph limit.

“Residents are pretty upset because they are getting their cars damaged by speeding cars.”

The council tried to deter Cllr White from introducing the scheme by saying it would cost £130K, but this was eventually revised down to £30K.

The limit has expanded since the original proposal, when it was just Sopwell Lane, and now covers Albert Street, Watsons Walk, Old London Road, Riverside Road, and Belmont Hill among others.

A consultation was carried out and the proposal was signed off by the council in April 2017 in order to improve safety for pedestrians and tackle the problems caused by rat-running.

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The proposal was supported by both Cllr White and the councillor for neighbouring St Albans South, Sandy Walkington, as well as St Albans district council and the cabinet member for highways on the county council, Terry Douris.

Cllr Douris wrote: “Noting the comments and approval of the local county councillors, I am content to let the scheme proceed.”

Poles for the signs were erected in December, but a disagreement with a nearby resident caused the work to be put off.

Cllr White said: “Residents did not know it had been put off so I just want them to get on and finish it. I do not get everything right, but I object to being made to look ridiculous. It’s from my budget so I’m responsible for it.

“It’s not difficult.”

A Herts County Council spokesperson said: “Works to install a 20mph speed limit on several roads in St Albans will be enforceable this coming Monday, February 12.

“Although it was planned for the works to be completed at the beginning of this month, there were a number of issues on site in regards to access and existing underground services which delayed the project from being completed by our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway.”