Own up to road error

In the furore pointing out the dangers of the new Letchworth Gate/A1(M) junction layout, the focus has been on the exit from the motorway for traffic to Letchworth. Equally dangerous, though, is the slip road on to the motorway travelling south towards Lo

In the furore pointing out the dangers of the new Letchworth Gate/A1(M) junction layout, the focus has been on the exit from the motorway for traffic to Letchworth.

Equally dangerous, though, is the slip road on to the motorway travelling south towards London. Traffic from the Baldock direction joins the nearside lane of the slip road; traffic from Letchworth the offside lane. Because the slip road forms the third lane of the motorway, vehicles accelerate as they go down it rather than needing to slow or even stop as they meet the motorway.

At busy times, that makes it extremely dangerous or even impossible for vehicles from Letchworth to move over to the nearside of the slip road so that they can join the motorway safely. The result is that they are forced out into the motorway's fast-moving middle lane.

County Councillor Pile (letters last week) may think that this is all just a matter of drivers taking time to adjust to the new layout and that nobody at the Highways Department has got anything wrong, though he does admit that further improvements might be necessary. The rest of us feel we are taking our lives in our hands every time we go on or off the A1(M).


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DAVID WALKER, Sollershott East, Letchworth Garden City

* In response to councillor Stuart Pile's letter, how can he compare the new layout which has only been opened for a few months against a five year period in respect of accidents. I would like to know what experience /qualifications Mr Pile has enabling him to give judgment on this issue? Apart from 'the department has done it,' hence it must be right! I say in reply to his letter Hertfordshire Highways have got it wrong and I speak with some experience. I am a transport manager for one of the largest fleets in the country and after driving Large Goods Vehicles all over this country and abroad for 30 years, I do know a bad junction when I see one. Believe me this is a badly designed junction, I am also a RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) accredited class one driving instructor /assessor and because of the dangerous layout and difficulty of this junction I will be taking drivers in very large vehicles around this junction to see how they cope with a difficult road layout.

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He stated we are currently awaiting the results of the final stage safety audit before making a decision as to whether any further improvements to the layout should be made

That is a polite way of saying we have spent a great deal of tax payers money and we got it wrong and we need to change the layout again!

While I have Mr Pile's attention could I ask him what has happened to the road surfaces?

In Hertfordshire, the potholes and disintegrating road surface are worse that an ex Eastern European Communist country. When any motorist claims against the Hertfordshire Highways for any accidents or damage to their cars or motorbikes, their first line of defence is we did not know about it, nobody has reported it. I call on all drivers to report all the problems they see, pothole or tarmac breaking up etc, to the Hertfordshire Highways.

R WARD, Stevenage

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