Leading companies say traffic congestion is hitting district's employment

PUBLISHED: 09:28 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

LEADING private-sector employers in the district have singled out congestion, parking and transport issues in the area as one of their major causes for concern. They voiced their unhappiness with the situation at a meeting with St Albans District Counci

LEADING private-sector employers in the district have singled out congestion, parking and transport issues in the area as one of their major causes for concern.

They voiced their unhappiness with the situation at a meeting with St Albans District Council and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the economic downturn.

Among the companies represented were Premier Foods, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Faber Maunsell and Rothamsted Research.

Culture and heritage portfolio holder, Cllr Melvyn Teare, told the council's cabinet on Tuesday: "They expressed particular concern about congestion and transport issues which impeded them from offering the best opportunities for employment in the area."

He was commenting on the meeting during a discussion about how the district and Herts County Council could work more closely in partnership to provide better highway and transportation services.

The need for improvements to congestion and the condition of roads have emerged as consistently top priorities for local residents in numerous surveys.

But most of the current responsibilities lie with the county council as the highways authority although the district council has responsibility for parking through an agency agreement with NCP.

Cllr Tony Swendell told the meeting that the highways authority was "very difficult" to work with and accused it of "moving at a snail's pace" over issues such as speed restrictions on the A5183 which had been on the agenda for the past three years.

He added: "I think they are appalling and they want to raise their game."

But environment and sustainability portfolio holder, Cllr Mike Ellis, said he thought closer working might succeed in getting more done.

Blob* A decision about what additional enforcement services will be provided by car park contractor NCP has been deferred until the new year.

Cabinet had four options to consider on the recruitment or redeployment of enforcement officers to police such behaviour as littering, dog fouling, graffiti and fly-posting.

But sport and healthy living portfolio holder, Cllr Sheila Burton, said she was unhappy about the proposal that NCP staff should wear head cameras to record instances of anti-social behaviour.

She said: "I have difficulties in terms of civil liberties and whether I approve of people going around with cameras on their heads."

She called for more information before a decision was taken.


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