Significant improvements to dangerous St Albans longabout not for near future

Cllr Chris Brazier at the longabout, Colney Heath.

Cllr Chris Brazier at the longabout, Colney Heath. - Credit: Archant

Solutions for St Albans’ dangerous longabout are not affordable for at least another year, disappointed residents have been told.

In 2014 the Colney Heath longabout was classified as a hazardous site after there were 20 injurious accidents reported between 2011 to 2013 – more than three times the qualifying threshold of six.

A report to Herts county council (HCC) recommended a change to the road layout, by putting traffic lights in the centre of the junction where the High Street meets the A414 and a triangle island in the High Street arm of the junction.

Temporary lights were trialled in March 2015, and found to be a viable solution as it would reduce the number of cars U-turning at the Colney Heath Lane end and make gaps in traffic more predicable for people turning into the road.

But Colney Heath district Cllr Chris Brazier said about 80 residents heard on Thursday that HCC currently does not have money for the safety improvements.

Officers said they would also like to see how the rail freight proposals turn out as plans might need to change with more lorries travelling down the road.

More temporary measures are being considered in the meantime, including rumble slips, better signage, and flashing lights to signal the junction is nearby.

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Cllr Brazier said: “How many more lives do we have to lose before HCC do something?

“Many take their lives into their own hands just going across it every day - we are not stopping, I have been campaigning for 12 years now and to be honest with you, we need to push it and push it and hopefully it will happen.”

Parish councillor Margaret Nash is planning to take their case to HCC in July, with a petition that currently has about 950 signatures.

Cllr Nash said she encouraged everyone to sign to show the strength of public support: “The petition needs lots more signatures so HCC understand how important the issue is.

“The petition is the beginning of a campaign to get a proper solution to the longabout.”

A spokesperson for Herts county council said: “It was confirmed that no funding has been identified to date for the installation of full-time traffic signals at this junction.

“This signal scheme is being considered as part of a wider review of the A414 corridor.”

She said work had started to clear vegetation and replace missing road signs, and there are plans for casualty reduction works for the financial year 2017 to 2018.

To sign the petition, visit