U-turn over Christmas road closure by St Albans shops

PUBLISHED: 11:27 12 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 May 2010

ANGRY shopkeepers who hit out at county council plans to shut down their road on the busiest weekend of the year have forced a U-turn. Traders in the High Oaks parade in St Albans were aghast when they received leaflets telling them that the road would be

ANGRY shopkeepers who hit out at county council plans to shut down their road on the busiest weekend of the year have forced a U-turn.

Traders in the High Oaks parade in St Albans were aghast when they received leaflets telling them that the road would be resurfaced on the weekend before Christmas.

Sue Bradford, who co-owns Funzone Fancy Dress and Dancewear at High Oaks, said: "No-one consulted us and when we tried to talk to them about it we couldn't track anyone down.

"It wasn't until the Herts Advertiser and Cllr Roma Mills got involved that we got a response."

She explained that one of the major benefits of High Oaks shops was the free, easy parking directly outside the shops, especially when customers were returning costumes in bad weather.

Prospective Labour parliamentary candidate and district councillor for Batchwood Roma Mills said: "I can understand the need to do the works while the local schools are on holiday but why not consult the shopkeepers?"

A spokesperson for Herts Highways said it had been an unfortunate oversight which had caused them to rethink their order of work.

The section of High Oaks north of Carnegie Road would now be resurfaced the weekend before Christmas instead while the stretch of roads outside the shops would be put back until the end of January.

She said: "This will keep access to the shops completely open and allow parking in the lay-by.

"Only a few local residents from the north end of the estate may be affected by the closure, but they do have an alternative access.

The spokesperson added: "This will allow us to surface and have the speed cushions installed before the schools return, whilst having a minimal impact on the shops, as access will be unrestricted for traffic entering the estate from Green Lane."

Mrs Bradford said she and the other shopkeepers were happy with the U-turn but hoped in future officers would consult them before planning such schemes.


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