St Albans’ Romeland gardens are safe from demolition

Romeland Gardens in St Albans

Romeland Gardens in St Albans - Credit: Debbie White/Archant

FEARS that the Romeland gardens and graveyard near St Albans Abbey could be levelled to help ease school traffic flow problems in the city have been quickly scotched by the district council.

Sandra Russell, a regular visitor who lives on the south coast and hopes to move here, contacted the Herts Advertiser to say she was “appalled by plans to turn Romeland into a traffic facility for St Albans School.”

On a recent trip to the area, residents apparently warned her that the beauty spot would be altered to ease traffic problems.

However both St Albans School and the district council (SADC) have been quick to rebut that rumour.

Charles Turner, legal services manager for SADC, explained the authority was working with Herts county council to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety in Romeland.

He explained: “The project is being developed in response to concerns raised by residents about obstructions to parking and pedestrians crossing the road caused by coaches dropping off and collecting schoolchildren.”

Mr Turner said a one-day trial was recently held to test the practicality of having a one-way route for coaches, to access the Romeland triangle from George Street, and exit at the Fishpool Street end. Other road users were able to exit and enter the area via George Street.

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SADC will apply to county council for permission to operate an extended trial of the scheme, so it can be tested over a six-to-18-month period.

Mr Turner added: “The green triangle at Romeland will not be affected by the proposed scheme.”

A spokesman for St Albans School said it had “absolutely no intention of building an additional car park in this area”.

He added that to suggest there were plans to turn the gardens and graveyard into a traffic facility was a “gross distortion of the facts” as the area is not actually owned by the school.

The spokesman said the school was working with the council to improve the safety of pupils and the traffic flow.

He went on: “For someone to suggest that the school is planning to vandalise such a beautiful part of our national heritage is both disappointing and wholly wrong.”