'Safer-route' work makes journey more dangerous
PUBLISHED: 10:24 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010
WORK on a pavement as part of the Safer Routes to School scheme is forcing pupils to either walk in the road or make several dangerous road crossings. The footpath repairs near a primary school in St Albans began this week. The footpath on Branch Road -
WORK on a pavement as part of the Safer Routes to School scheme is forcing pupils to either walk in the road or make several dangerous road crossings.
The footpath repairs near a primary school in St Albans began this week. The footpath on Branch Road - just around the corner from St Michael's Infants School and opposite the Black Lion Inn - was closed on Monday for repairs by Herts County Council (HCC) which failed to mark an alternative route.
Pedestrians walking through St Michael's village had to either walk on the road itself or to cross Branch Road to Fishpool Street and then cross again to St Michael's Street.
Susan Stokes, of Camlet Way, was taking her grandchildren to Verulamium Park on Monday afternoon when she was confronted by the closed footpath. She said: "I find it incredible that the county planners have failed to make safe provision for the large number of children and parents walking along Branch Road."
She added: "Surely it doesn't take much common sense to realise that this accident waiting to happen could have been avoided by more intelligent planning and a little bit of foresight."
A spokesperson for HCC said that they could not help the timing of the roadwork sand added: "While we do try to carry out as many projects as possible during school holidays, it is simply not possible to fit all schemes into those periods."
He added: "This work is being carried out to improve the footpath as part of a Safer Routes to School scheme. As with all highway schemes, the safety arrangements will have been audited and approved before the start of the scheme.
"However, following concerns raised by Mrs Stokes, one of our engineers will visit the site to double check that everything is as it should be."
The footpath will be closed for a maximum of two weeks, during which Branch Road will also be closed to road traffic between 9.30am and 4.30pm. A diverted route through Fishpool Street has been signposted for drivers.