Fight to keep the road open

PUBLISHED: 11:46 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 May 2010

I have to say I am sick to the back teeth reading about Rectory Lane every week and how it should be closed off due to it being a rat run, cars driving too fast, Almond Hill School staff and parents being concerned...blah, blah, blah! Firstly I would be v

I have to say I am sick to the back teeth reading about Rectory Lane every week and how it should be closed off due to it being a rat run, cars driving too fast, Almond Hill School staff and parents being concerned...blah, blah, blah!

Firstly I would be very surprised if there are any parents at Almond Hill School that let their children walk to school for the amount of cars there are blocking up Almond Hill Lane, Headingly Close and Trafford Close every morning and afternoon. Do we the residents complain? No. It is most of the parents that use Rectory Lane. As for the secondary schools nearby, come on, give them some credit. I am sure a secondary school child knows their green cross code. The property owners down Rectory Lane just want their own private road! Well I am sorry, but there are factors that have not been taken into any consideration. If Rectory Lane is closed off, then Trafford Close and Headingly Close will be cut off from that part of Stevenage which would mean going over all the bumps down Weston Road and Letchmore Road to get to that end of town. I have a disabled brother who at anytime may need to be taken to the Lister Hospital and some of my elderly neighbours have visits to the hospital for whatever reasons. Headingly Close is mainly populated by the elderly. Why should we take a 10-minute trip to the hospital when we can get there in two! Put speed bumps down Rectory Lane, widen the road? Oh, we cannot because of a preserved step! So lives stay at risk but we keep a bit of concrete? It is just because the councillors, doctors and other bigwigs live there who want a private road - end of story.

The residents in Headingly and Trafford Close are fed up with the amount of cars Almond Hill School produces with parking up both streets and cars doing U-turns at the bottom of the road. Yet we, the residents, let it go by. Speed bumps, speed cameras, widening the road or even traffic lights! None of them will happen because of the amount of money that is down Rectory Lane and the influences some residents appear to have on the council.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

* Re Rectory Lane, Stevenage. Closing this road is not the answer. Despite the various correspondents who have been back and forth in The Comet it has always been assumed that the responsibility for potential accidents is on the motorist.

However, it is worth noting that all users have a responsibility to use the road wisely. I regularly use the road and have noticed on numerous occasions that pedestrians show little respect for the motorist. Many times I see people walking in the lane wearing dark clothing and walking on the actual road. How about they use the path and make themselves more visible to road users? The pathway which runs down the lane is on one side only and this means that pedestrians should not be crossing the road at all, instead pedestrians should move further up/down the lane towards the church, or The Granby and cross at the more suitable position where they have clearer view of the traffic using the lane.

If pedestrians followed this and other information in the Highway Code then perhaps the road would be safer for them. As for cyclists they too have a part to play in the safe usage of this road.

They should display working lights both back and front and also wear some kind of reflective materials and of course be law abiding and use a crash helmet. I have run out of fingers and toes to count the number of times I have seen cyclists doing none of the above.

Why shouldn't motorists use the lane to access to the routes out of Stevenage? The quicker people get to places the less money it costs and the less environmental damage it causes.

The residents knew the road was present when they moved in and so cannot really complain of its usage now, just because the car has a bigger part to play in society now than it did in the past.

As far as I know the road is fairly safe anyhow, how many people have been fatally injured or even seriously injured while using the road? It seems that we were all talking about possible accidents which may never happen.

The highway by nature is a very dangerous place and we should accept that accidents happen (it's human nature after all). Every user of the lane has a part to play in its safe usage, residents could cut back bushes and trees which block their view of the road when using driveways, pedestrians should walk on one side of the road only and cross at either end, cyclists should make themselves more visible and use the road with more respect and the motorist should maintain a slow speed and caution when using the lane.

If we closed roads which were possibly unsafe, would there be any roads open in this country?

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

* It would appear that many of your correspondents have some very inventive suggestions with regard to the traffic situation on Rectory Lane. These range from the frankly ludicrous proposal that local residents sacrifice part of their land to allow for road widening, to the idea of creating a tidal flow system.

It is noticeable that all of these daft suggestions come from people who do not actually live on or near Rectory Lane, many of whom chose to hide behind the anomimity of name and address withheld.

While it is easy to accuse Rectory Lane residents of snobbish nimbyism, let us not overlook the fact that those who do not are also acting in their own self interest. Certainly, if you use Rectory Lane as a through road, the idea that you can enjoy one-way traffic to travel down it in the morning and up it in the evening must be appealing. But has anyone stopped to think of the logistics of such an idea? At what time of the day would the traffic direction change? If you are a resident pulling onto the road at around the changeover time, how would you know whether to turn left or right? There are 28 turnings, junctions and driveways entering onto Rectory Lane between St Nicholas Church and the Marquis of Granby. Do we have a separate traffic light system for each? Think of the cost, not to mention the fact that the road would be lit up like a Christmas tree.

I am all for encouraging debate on this issue, but let's have a bit of common sense and show a little thought for those who live on the doorstep.

Jim Callaghan, Chestnut Walk, Stevenage

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