St Albans woman’s anger after surprise road penalty

The sign at the entrance to Old Harpenden Road

The sign at the entrance to Old Harpenden Road - Credit: Archant

An upset woman is calling for a St Albans road to have more prominent and explanatory road signs after her husband was cautioned by police.

Annette Flinn, of Ellis Fields, St Albans, claims the signs, which are at the top end of Old Harpenden Road, do not make people aware of the consequences of using the road in the prohibited hours of 8-9am and 2.30-4pm from Monday to Friday.

Her husband drove down the road at around 8.30am last week and was surprised to be stopped by police officers halfway down the road who then proceeded to issue him with a caution in front of his eight-year-old daughter.

She said: “I don’t feel that what they did was necessary. Instead of hiding in the bushes they should wait at the top of the road.

“We need to make people more aware of it, instead of what they [the police] are doing and making people feel threatened.

“I’m really upset because of the way they dealt with it and handled it.”

A police spokeswoman said the incident was a routine operation in response to residents’ on-going concerns about the ‘dangerous use’ of the road during designated peak times.

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She said the restrictions at one end of the road were clearly signposted with two signs at the entrance to restrict the flow of traffic during the specified times: “The restrictions regarding the use of the road have been put in place to safeguard the school children who use the road on a daily basis as they walk to local schools and to ease congestion in a narrow road.

“Unfortunately many motorists ignore the restrictions in a bid to bypass traffic congestion at the Ancient Briton Junction.

“This puts the children’s safety in jeopardy and necessitates a regular police operation in the road during peak times.”

She added officers give advice to motorists who contravened the restrictions but on occasion it was necessary to issue a formal Traffic Offence Report (TOR).