Lorries cause chaos on Batford diversion route

HEAVY lorries using residential side streets to get around a road closure are causing problems and prompting concerns about the safety of school children.

Lower Luton Road in Batford will be closed for a further four weeks to allow for drainage improvements at a notorious flooding hotspot near the junction with Station Road.

But a blunder by Herts Highways meant that traffic was originally diverted via Pickford Hill, Milford Hill and Common Lane rather than alternative A and B routes.

Although the diversion has now correctly started to take cars down Station Road and along the Harpenden Road into St Albans and then into Wheathampstead, residents have still been experiencing problems with high volumes of traffic and HGVs using the original diversion route.

One Milford Hill resident, who did not want to be named, said many HGVs – especially tipper lorries – were using the Lower Luton Road as a cut through to the A1(M) as well as the A414 where there is a tip.

She said since the roadworks commenced the HGVs have been clogging up the side roads, turning verges into swamps and knocking off wing mirrors, as well as posing a safety threat to children at Sauncey Wood school along Pickford Hill where there is no traffic calming.

The 50 year old continued: “We know this work has got to be done but it could have been better organised.”

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Until recently HGVs weighing over 7.5 tonnes were banned from using the Lower Luton Road but police explained this week that the restriction had been lifted when work to widen the M1 commenced.

A spokesperson for Herts Highways said: “A few of the diversion signs were incorrectly placed on Tuesday, January 11, and these signs did direct traffic through Pickford Hill. We quickly spotted this error and placed the signs in the correct locations on Wednesday, January 12.

“The diversion route is now only on A and B roads, as had originally been planned, and no longer goes by the school.

“We apologise for this initial error and ask all motorists to observe the correct diversion route.”

Up to date information about the roadworks can be found by following the links at www.hertsdirect.org/envroads/.