Lane is only fit for light traffic

PUBLISHED: 14:31 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

SIR – Another view of the Rectory Lane story – in my view there is no doubt that the lane ought to be closed at the top near the church, renamed Rectory Close, then reserved for access to residents houses and pedestrian use. Surely the key point is in it

SIR - Another view of the Rectory Lane story - in my view there is no doubt that the lane ought to be closed at the top near the church, renamed Rectory Close, then reserved for access to residents' houses and pedestrian use. Surely the key point is in its title and this in turn embodies the purpose for which this little highway was originally built; it was a country lane which provided a link between Old Stevenage and Weston forming part of a network of similarly narrow Hertfordshire leafy lanes.

It was originally sufficiently wide for the passage of animals, pedestrians and horse drawn vehicles. There are many examples which demonstrate the way in which other old lanes were either improved to become roads, replaced or even closed as vehicles developed and traffic increased in volume. Their intended purpose was again reflected in the creation of new titles, eg relief road, ring-road, bypass, motorway, etc.

It is currently clear from the physical nature of Rectory Lane, land locked by privately owned property on either side, that it cannot be improved by widening to allow for larger cars and vans, to form easier junctions or to decrease the dangers from passing vehicles. In its present state it is only fit for very light local traffic and pedestrians.

As a connection between London Road and parts of the new town this lane was replaced many years ago by Martins Way which provided routes to the St Nicholas Estate, and Pin Green Industrial area. At a later stage parts of this new road were dualled and extended to form a ring road anticipating the additional volume of traffic which would be generated by the Chells Manor estates and Great Ashby Village.

These developments all reflect sound planning, but was the revised function of Rectory Lane overlooked before it became the preferred route of the daily back-doublers and rat-runners who feel the need to use it to make their daily dash back and forth to wherever?

Surely it is high time the Highways Authority made a firm decision to close this ancient pot-holed bi-way while directing all through traffic to the ring road and if this road does not have the capacity to carry an ever increasing volume of traffic then let us direct our energies into a campaign for more improvements.

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