Motorists left in a jam as lights go slow

PUBLISHED: 11:06 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

FRUSTRATED motorists breathed a sigh of relief when roadworks on the St Albans ring road were put on hold until the end of the month. But their reprieve was shortlived when it became clear that the phasing of the MOVA computer-controlled Batchwood Drive t

FRUSTRATED motorists breathed a sigh of relief when roadworks on the St Albans ring road were put on hold until the end of the month.

But their reprieve was shortlived when it became clear that the phasing of the MOVA computer-controlled Batchwood Drive traffic lights at the Ancient Briton junction had not been readjusted in line with the fact that the road had reopened.

As a result motorists have been sitting in long tailbacks along Batchwood Drive as far back as Waverley Road as the light phasing has allowed only a maximum of six vehicles through the junction at a time.

The resurfacing work along Batchwood Drive was suspended from Sunday because the equipment was needed elsewhere. In the two weeks it was in operation it caused long tailbacks on the approaches to and in St Albans city centre.

Only half the project had been completed when it was suspended to carry out another project delayed by bad weather in Watford. Now the Batchwood Drive work is due to recommence on March 31 when the stretch of carriageway between Green Lane and Redbourn Road is expected to take a week to complete.

Before the work started Herts Highways had said they couldn't delay the project until the school holidays which start today (Thursday) even though both a primary and secondary school are accessed from Batchwood Drive.

A spokesperson for Herts Highways said on Tuesday: "There does appear to be a problem with the phasing of these lights. We are currently investigating and will be rectifying the situation as soon as possible."

Despite this assurance, there was no change in the situation yesterday morning.

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