Threat of rail freight depot in Park Street looms over roundabout bid

Put the Brakes on Freight

Put the Brakes on Freight - Credit: Archant

A bid to get traffic lights on a busy major roundabout is the right idea but the wrong time according to a concerned county councillor.

Peter Whitehead, who has stood for UKIP in county and district council elections, has initiated an e-petition on the county council’s website calling for peak hour traffic lights on the Park Street roundabout.

He is concerned that motorists entering the roundabout from Park Street, the A405 and St Albans can wait an exceptionally long time to get on to it because of the constant stream of traffic on the A414.

The petition, which is calling for traffic lights to operate at peak times, already has 132 signatures and is open until July 30.

But county councillor for St Stephen, Aislinn Lee, is concerned about the timing of the petition, coming as it does when Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is reconsidering an aspect of the application from Helioslough for a massive rail freight depot on Radlett Airfield in Park Street.

She said that the main improvement Helioslough was offering to ameliorate “this humungous development” was lights on the roundabout.

She went on: “I am very, very concerned that it is ill-advised to do this at this time.

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“Eric Pickles at this moment is considering the Section 106 agreement between the county council and Helioslough and they are offering to do this.

“It is a worthy cause if it wasn’t for the fact that we have this hanging over us. I don’t want to give Helioslough any kind of support from the community.”

Cllr Lee said both she and her predecessor in the St Stephen division, Cllr Michael Moore, had been pushing for lights on the Park Street roundabout for many years but had always been told that there was insufficient money for such a capital project unless there was a major development close to the roundabout.

She added: “There are regularly accidents there and this is a major issue but the timing is ill-advised and playing into the hands of Helioslough.”