New crossing installed near St Albans park danger spot

Anna Balbas, parish cllr Peter Cook, Joyce Goodwin with Storm, parish cllr Cecilia Hathaway, cllr Dr

Anna Balbas, parish cllr Peter Cook, Joyce Goodwin with Storm, parish cllr Cecilia Hathaway, cllr Dreda Gordon, Chris Gowens, Heather Goodwin with Violet McGrath 8 & Poppy McGrath 2 - Credit: Archant

A dangerous section of road where motorists speed near a popular park in St Albans now has a pedestrian crossing installed to keep people safe.

Herts county councillor for The Colneys, Dreda Gordon, said she was relieved to see the crossing installed on Highfield Lane, near Tillage Close, which leads to Highfield Park.

Costing over £60,000, the project was mainly funded through the councillor’s highways locality budget and developers’ contributions through Section 106 planning obligations, along with money from Colney Heath parish council.

St Albans City Youth Community Football Club had previously voiced its concern over the road.

On its website, the club said: “Over the past decade the volume of traffic has greatly increased as has the speed at which it moves.

“The speed limit is 30mph but this is regularly flouted. This is now a dangerous road. Pedestrians risk life and limb when crossing the road to access the shops, doctor’s surgery, Charter’s health club and the playing fields.”

The club said there have also been several serious accidents along this stretch of road over the years, and “the police have handed out many fines for speeding”.

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In January last year Herts county council responded to an online petition calling for the installation of a crossing because of excessive speed by motorists and the frequency of accidents.

Officers collected pedestrian and vehicle data and discovered that the “speed of traffic was surprisingly high … the speed limit is 30mph whereas the survey recorded the 85th percentile as being around 40mph”.

Survey staff found that on a Saturday about 300 people crossed at that point, along with 27 cyclists. They also noted that, on a weekday, a mother and child had to wait for five minutes to cross due to heavy traffic.