'More needs to be done to prevent such deaths' - MP and councillors back St Albans Road safety campaign
- Credit: Matt Adams
The St Albans Road safety campaign has won the support of local politicians, who are united in their demands for action.
Cllr Annie Brewster, district councillor for Wheathampstead and county councillor for Harpenden Rural, said: “It is devastating news that someone lost their life and my heart goes out to the family of the deceased and to the neighbours who witnessed the accident.
"There have been far too many serious and fatal accidents on this ‘B’ road that acts as a main arterial route to the north of St Albans. Each one has been caused by slightly different issues. On this occasion, early police reports cite overtaking to be the cause.
"Sandridge Parish Council are consulting residents on what would make them feel safer that could necessitate different solutions at different locations.
"These might include additional pedestrian crossings, traffic calming measures, changes in speed limits, or similar.
"I have been in communication with Herts county council’s director of environment and infrastructure since the accident together with the lead councillor for highways, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Bim Afolami MP and the Sandridge resident, who very bravely went to assist at the scene of the accident, to bring minds together.”
Harpenden MP Bim Afolami, who attended the site of the fatality, said: "My sincere condolences go to the family and friends of the young man who died on St Albans Road.
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"In my conversations with residents over the past few days I have been struck by the impact this incident has had.
"The trauma of the event has stirred a strong community-led response to improve road safety for residents, drivers and pedestrians.
"I will be on hand for these residents who should work with the parish and county councillors to assess possible interventions once the cause of the collision has been determined."
County councillor and Sandridge parish council chair John Hale said: "My thoughts and those of the parish council are with the family and friends of the deceased and also with those who witnessed the tragic events and assisted in its aftermath.
"That such an event should occur on that stretch of road does not come as a surprise. Although it has a 40mph speed limit, local residents know drivers often exceed that speed limit, which is already higher than it should be.
"More needs to be done to prevent such deaths not just on the St Albans Road, but across the district. Regrettably in 2020, eight people lost their lives in road traffic collisions in St Albans district, which was a significant increase on previous years.
"I will be working with the parish council and my colleagues on the county council not only for changes to the road layout to reduce speeding, but also to persuade the police to improve roads policing in the county.
"The events on that Tuesday night were tragic, as a community we need to do more to address our own behaviour behind the wheel, to introduce measures on the road to reduce the risk of speeding and to police those that still take risks."
The campaign is also being supported by Helen Whittington, of DJ's Jungle soft play centre located at Sandridge Gate business park, near to where the fatality occurred.
She said: "I am very keen to see a 30mph speed limit and a crossing for pedestrians and buggies.
"I have run the business from here for 10 years and luckily this is the first fatal accident I’ve heard of, so close. However, it’s dangerous even getting here from school and our customers/staff get splashed with the speed that cars come down the hill (as people come to DJ’s Play Jungle in adverse weather conditions).
"I fully support any traffic calming measures or pelican crossing."
A Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “We were saddened to hear of this tragic incident on St Albans Road, Sandridge, on Tuesday and our thoughts are with the family affected.
"Road safety is of paramount importance to Hertfordshire County Council. We will be working closely with the police in an attempt to understand how this incident happened.”