Old London Road closed as unstable shed causes chaos
PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 July 2019
Frustration is increasing among residents after it was revealed a major St Albans throughfare could remain closed for another four months.
Old London Road has already been closed for several weeks due to fears an unstable shed could collapse and St Albans district council is concerned for the safety of passers-by.
Locals are unsure as to why a wooden shed could cause such inconvenience to so many drivers and pedestrians.
The road is used frequently at all hours as it is usually quicker than driving through London Road traffic.
Resident Jack Hill said: "This is a wooden building which could be demolished in an afternoon if bureaucracy wasn't involved.
"To have a road closed for such a long period is quite amazing."
Roger Goethe added: "This is a disgrace. It is taking so long and inconveniencing so many people."
Lib Dem Cllr Sandy Walkington said: "I absolutely share the frustration of local residents at how long this has taken.
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"Public safety must be paramount but it must be possible to make it happen quicker than is currently suggested."
Head of planning and building control at St Albans district council, Tracy Harvey explained: "Our building control officers identified a structure on Old London Road that was in danger of collapsing, potentially causing serious injury to pedestrians and damage to cars.
"After being advised of the situation, the county council considered there was no alternative to closing the adjacent footpath and road.
"We understand the closure is causing inconvenience and frustration to residents, but I can assure them that we are working as fast as we can to resolve the problem.
"The building's owners were traced and contacted, but unfortunately they have shown no sign of carrying out the essential repair work.
"We have now stepped in and are taking action to stabilise the structure and re-open the road to traffic.
"This may take three to four months to complete.
"We will shortly be applying to the magistrates' court for a warrant allowing us to access the inside of the building.
"We can then finalise the proposed repair works and agree a schedule with our building contractor and the county Highways department. We will seek to recover our costs from the building's owners."