Buses cannot stop at St Albans City Hospital because of roadworks, forcing patients to walk or taxi

PUBLISHED: 15:13 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 05 February 2019

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo.

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo.

Archant

Buses are not stopping at St Albans City Hospital, forcing patients to walk or pay for a taxi to make appointments.

Due to roadworks blocking Waverley Road, both the 653 Uno and 301 Arriva services cannot access the usual hospital stop until February 22.

Buses will instead take passengers via Batchwood Drive, Verulam Road, Folly Lane, and Normandy Road - if they do not simply terminate in St Albans city centre.

It is about a 15 minute walk from St Peter’s Street to the hospital.

A resident of the area, Anjie Davison, said : “I live nearby so it doesn’t affect me, but I walk into town and see some of the people who are affected, the older people.

“I think it is awful that the only way to get to the hospital is to walk or taxi. They can get as far as town but there was lots of confusion there.”

Anjie says she was not notified of the works and has encountered several confused older people waiting fruitlessly at the bus stop.

Herts county councillor Roma Mills added: “If you are an elderly person, if you aren’t feeling great, and if you live in the immediate area and rely on the bus, you will have a problem.”

To exacerbate the confusion, Cllr Mills said diversion signs were not initially in place.

“The issue is, people don’t know about it. There were no diversion signs - I believe those are being put up now but they were not up as they started.”

The roadworks are being managed by Matthew Homes, and carried out by Ashvale Civil Engineering, to facilitate the Waverley Green development.

Cllr Mills said: “I understand it has got to be done, we need to improve the road, but it seems that there were no diversion signs, no prior warning that the roadworks are being done. It shows a total lack of respect and it is a strong disincentive to not take the bus.”

Hertfordshire’s Local Transport Plan 2018 to 2031, created by Herts county council (HCC), aims to discourage car use and “work to enhance the attractiveness of bus travel”.

A spokesperson from HCC apologised for the disruption: “The bus stop has been temporarily closed to facilitate essential highways works in Waverley Road, including construction of a new junction and removal of a traffic island. These started on Monday 28 January and will take another two weeks to complete.”

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