Petition urging for traffic lights around Colney Heath longabout hits more than 500 signatures

Longabout A414, Colney Heath.

Longabout A414, Colney Heath. - Credit: Archant

A petition urging for the installation of traffic lights at a ‘dangerous’ longabout in St Albans hits more than 500 signatures.

In 2014 the A414 Colney Heath longabout was classified as a hazardous site in an annual Herts county council review of accidents on the road, which recorded 20 personal injury collisions between 2011 to 2013.

This is more than three times the hazardous site qualifying threshold, which requires just six accidents.

Fifty per cent of the incidents were caused by drivers misjudging the speed of, or distance from, other cars around the longabout.

It was suggested that traffic lights be put in the centre of the junction where the High Street meets the A414 and a triangle island created in the High Street arm of the junction.

This would mean some cars could take a shortcut to bypass the U-turn at the end of the longabout, depending on their destination.

In March 2015, temporary traffic lights were installed around the junction, mimicking the suggestions as closely as possible to see if they would work.

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Theoretically, traffic lights would make the gaps in traffic longer and more predictable, and would also reduce the number of cars U-turning at the Colney Heath Lane end of the junction.

A review into the trial was published last month (January), which found there was no gridlocking or wrapping around the junction as was feared.

The recommendations of the review are to upgrade the signs and road markings, install permanent traffic lights, and create a route through the centre of the junction.

Colney Heath parish vouncillor Margaret Nash has started the petition, urging the council to follow the report’s advice and, according to the petition, “prevent further loss of life and injury to road users”.

She said: “I think we have waited nearly two years for the report and the recommendations say we need traffic lights and carriageway changes, but the county council is only proposing to do some small works to help the situation rather than solve the problem on this dangerous junction.

“For this reason we have started the petition to take to the county council to demand that they do the work that we need urgently done.”

If 1,000 people sign the petition, Margaret will be able to take their case before the council.

The campaign is being supported by Margaret’s daughter, Corinne Nash, who described the longabout as “really nasty”.

Corinne believes it is currently so dangerous because cars are dashing out from a standing start across two lanes of traffic travelling at 50 miles per hour.

A spokesperson for Herts county council said vegetation has been cleared and road signs are being replaced at the longabout.

She added: “No funding has been identified to date for the installation of full time traffic signals at the this junction, but this signal scheme is being considered as part of a wider review of the A414 corridor.”

To sign the petition, click here.

There is a meeting about the campaign on March 9 from 7.30pm, with a change of venue than previously advertised – it will now take place at Colney Heath School.