St Albans red light raising hackles at junction

PUBLISHED: 18:57 13 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:59 06 May 2010

The controversial lights at the Watson's Walk junction

The controversial lights at the Watson's Walk junction

LAW-ABIDING motorist Vernon Unsworth is seeing red over a penalty notice he has received from the police. Mr Unsworth, of Chiswell Green, is accused of going through a red light at the junction of Watson s Walk with London Road in St Albans on February 11

LAW-ABIDING motorist Vernon Unsworth is seeing red over a penalty notice he has received from the police.

Mr Unsworth, of Chiswell Green, is accused of going through a red light at the junction of Watson's Walk with London Road in St Albans on February 11 but he says he is prepared to go to court to fight it.

He said: "I suspect the sequence of lights there is set incorrectly. The lights change so quickly there's no way you can get across that junction on the green light."

He said he nearly caused an accident on Monday when he was crossing the same junction with someone following closely behind.

He said: "The lights were on green but in the blink of an eye they changed and I slammed on my brakes because I didn't want to get another notice of prosecution.

"The man behind me was furious and actually got out of his car to speak to me. When I explained why I had to be very careful not to get another three points he calmed down and was OK but it could have caused an accident."

He also pointed out the prevalence of convictions of people prosecuted at the same spot.

He said: "I don't think it's a coincidence that so many people are being prosecuted for the same offence at that exact spot if the Herts Advertiser court results are to be believed."

Mr Unsworth said he has been driving that particular route to the station for more than 15 years and there had only recently been a problem.

A spokesperson for Herts Highways confirmed that the green light timings at Watson's Walk have been on the same setting of 16 seconds since 2004.

She said: "The different timings are designed to give priority to traffic on the roads that are used the most. There have not been any faults this year."

Maximum timings for lights staying green on London Road and nearby junctions are set between 36 to 44 seconds, depending on time of day.

But because it is a busy junction with a history of people jumping the red lights there, police have put up a safety camera to trap impatient motorists.

A police spokesperson said a number of road traffic collisions had happened in the area as a result of drivers driving through a red light.

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