Motorists annoyed at traffic chaos in St Albans

St Albans was hit by major traffic delays yesterday.

St Albans was hit by major traffic delays yesterday. - Credit: Archant

Road and utility works which ground St Albans’ traffic network to a standstill for hours last night (Thursday) have been condemned by the president of the AA.

Edmund King, who lives in St Albans, told the Herts Advertiser: “Some very badly managed temporary lights closing two lanes northbound of the Rebourn Road, from the Batchwood roundabout, caused gridlock in St Albans [last night].

“It took 45 minutes to drive 1.5 miles into St Albans at 4pm [yesterday] afternoon from the Redbourn direction. Traffic then backed up from the town centre to the roundabout.”

The AA president said that there were four-way temporary traffic lights on the busy roundabout, to allow for some resurfacing work, which “caused gridlock in all directions”.

Edmund said that while “resurfacing is essential, it should be managed far better than this”.

It was later revealed that emergency repairs on a gas leak were carried out by National Grid on the roundabout linking Redbourn Road, Batchwood Drive, the A4147 and Verulam Road, with temporary traffic lights only allowing one lane onto the road at a time.

Motorists trying to return home in the evening were delayed by up to an hour-and-a-half at rush hour.

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One angry mother-of-two said: “It took me an hour to get home. We should have had at some warning, or diversions in place.”

The gridlock, which saw vehicles stretched right along Verulam Road, Batchwood Drive, Bluehouse Hill and King Harry Lane, followed extensive roadworks the previous evening, on Hatfield Road in the city centre, which also delayed travel.

A district council spokesperson has said the works are likely to last until next Wednesday.