Neighbours condemn works chaos in major St Albans road

Local residents Peter Jarvis, Jo Arnold, Dominic Brewer, Mary Jarvis, John Harvey, Pauline James and

Local residents Peter Jarvis, Jo Arnold, Dominic Brewer, Mary Jarvis, John Harvey, Pauline James and Kevan Brewer are unhappy with the disruption being caused by the roadworks on Prospect Road - Credit: Archant

Long-suffering residents have endured parking chaos, traffic congestion and delays in their rubbish collection as a result of ongoing maintenance work which has partly closed a busy city centre road.

New gas pipes are being installed by National Grid in Prospect Road and St Julian’s Road, St Albans, resulting in the closure of Prospect Road at the Cottonmill Lane end and restricted access at the Holywell Hill junction.

The work began at the beginning of October as part of a 30-year plan to improve safety and service and residents have had restricted access for weeks.

A concerned St Julian’s Road resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s like Beirut out here! It looks awful! It’s a nightmare.

“The whole issue is the way they [National Grid] have co-ordinated the thing! It’s all to do with the timing. They’ve dug up the road weeks before they needed to. They dug up St Julian’s Road during half term.

“There’s nothing happening. There’s a board at the top of the road so that we can all get in but no rubbish lorries or large vehicles.”

She went on: “Prospect Road seems to have been unnecessarily shut, while they leave it dug up and wait for pipes. Prospect Road is a major route for traffic to cut through, so it is holding up the town traffic.

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“Lots of people normally park in their drives but currently cannot access their drives, so there is a massive parking problem.

“It is a permitted area and fines are being issued, regardless. We have been told we will still be given tickets and to individually appeal each one. Who has the time?!

“They say if they don’t give tickets, people will just park here. But I can’t believe anyone would want to come down here unless they absolutely had to because of the upheaval and traffic issues.”

She questioned how a fire engine would gain access if it needed too because of the way the road had been fenced off at the junction of Prospect Road and St Julian’s Road and said the bin men had not been to collect the green bins which was a health hazard because they comtained things like egg shells, meat and vegetable peelings.

She added: “People’s garden bins are overflowing and we are wondering what will happen next week with the collection of the normal household rubbish.”

A spokesperson for the district council said this week that they were trying to contact National Grid regarding waste and recycling services access to discuss how they might make arrangements to collect the rubbish if access is still an issue on Friday.

She said: “We hope to work with National Grid as we have done in the past in other areas, to find a solution.

“In the past, they have helped by moving the waste and recycling to a point where our contractor can make the collection.”

A spokeswoman for National Grid admitted there had been a delay as one of the pipes had to be specially made, due to its large size.

She said it was unclear how long the disruption would continue but that it would be several more weeks.

The spokeswoman confirmed that National Grid fhad been liaising closely with the Highways Authority regarding traffic management and added:

“We are not aware of any concerns from the emergency services regarding access. However, if the emergency services do have any concerns then we would be happy to discuss this with them.”