Just days left to speak out on St Albans city centre closures

City centre road closures could go ahead in August.

City centre road closures could go ahead in August. - Credit: Matt Adams

There are just a few days left to have your say on plans to close parts of St Albans city centre to traffic.

Herts county council and St Albans district council are working in partnership to trial the closure of High Street and George Street, and want to establish the impact on vehicle movements across the city.

But residents and businesses only have until Sunday to comment on the proposals.

The scheme requires an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) to close George Street seven days a week except for access between 7am-11am, and a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) to establish a one-way arrangement in George Street with a contraflow provision for cyclists.

A Permanent Traffic Regulation Order (PTRO) will support the experiment by creating a permanent disabled parking bay in George Street.

The ETRO will also close High Street from 6.30pm on Fridays to 6.30am on Mondays, from George Street to The Peahen junction, with loading from Verulam Road between 7am-11am.

Members of the public are being given the chance to comment on the proposals, and following this consultation HCC will decide whether to proceed with the TROs.

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Before any closure takes place, a notice will be published at least seven days in advance in the Herts Ad.

Should the experiment proceed, HCC says it will commence in a phased manner from August and is likely to be in place for up to 18 months. During this time the experimental measures will be evaluated and a decision made on whether to make them permanent.

Initially, the trials were set to begin in April, then June, and only last for a year.

The council will be using Vivacity sensors in the High Street to anonymously track how people are using the space.

Automatic traffic counts will monitor vehicles along Folly Lane and Catherine Street, as well as speed and volume counts along King Harry Lane, Old London Road, Holywell Hill, Verulam Road, Carlisle Avenue and Waverley Road.

The county council will also monitor car park usage, surveying businesses, along with using Google data to track traffic issues across a wider area, and introduce sensors to assess the air quality in the city.

A spokesperson for HCC said: "Work is currently under way to ensure that physical measures required to facilitate the trial weekend closure of High Street and seven day closure of George Street is possible.

"Specially fabricated gates are now on order with a view to installation in September supported by an Experimental Traffic Regulation order (ETRO).

"We are currently inviting comments on the proposed experimental closure up until July 24 and letters have been distributed locally.

"Comments can be sent to highstreetrecovery@hertfordshire.gov.uk and further details can be viewed online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/highstreetrecovery