Pain in the lane

Your anonymous correspondent on Rectory Lane gloriously but unsurprisingly misses the point. Not in my back yard (or anybody s) do I want what is almost inevitable – a serious accident with casualties. If this person seriously believes traffic is a proble

Your anonymous correspondent on Rectory Lane gloriously but unsurprisingly misses the point. Not in my back yard (or anybody's) do I want what is almost inevitable - a serious accident with casualties. If this person seriously believes traffic is a problem for only an hour each end of the day it is clear they only drive along this dangerous rat run. For people who walk or cycle the reality is very different.

I challenge your correspondent to join me walking up Rectory Lane where they will see at first hand the dangers. They will also understand why many did not fall for the county's farcical consultation over measures that will do nothing to make the road safe.

PATRICK NEWMAN, Chancellors Road, Stevenage

* Regarding putting traffic on other roads, the letter you printed last week under this heading owes more to fantasy than fact. Of course Rectory Lane has its rush hour, like everywhere else. But it is busy throughout the day, including weekends, and there has been a large increase in traffic throughout the day.

The point about the 8-9am rush-hour is that this is the time when children are walking to school. They all have to cross the lane on bends with poor visibility and this is precisely the time that has seen the biggest increase in traffic.

Another significant part of the traffic is parents taking their children to local schools. This is a vicious circle - the worse the traffic in Rectory Lane, the more dangerous it is for pedestrians, and the more parents feel they need to drive their children to school.

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You accuse local residents of being NIMBYs. I think the drivers who insist on their inalienable right to use any and every local road as a rat-run are the inconsiderate ones. I doubt if your correspondent lives on a rat-run. The Local Traffic Plan says clearly that traffic should be diverted away from local access roads and onto the main road network. More should be done to implement this policy.


* Your anonymous correspondent bewailing the efforts of the residents of Rectory Lane to make the road safer clearly has no understanding of the situation.

This 19th century country lane is being subjected to 21st century rat run traffic pressures without any changes beyond some lighting and a failed attempt to introduce a 20mph speed limit.

As users of this lane over several decades, we have seen the conditions deteriorate, so that not only is it now unsafe to cycle but one feels unsafe walking along the narrow footpath with cars whizzing by within easy touching distance. Crossing the road is also exceptionally hazardous because of the density and speed of the traffic, coupled at the top end by bends.

This lane must hold the Stevenage record for damaged wing mirrors.

There have been a number of attempts to resolve the problem, but none have been abandoned because of the Rectory Lane residents' actions. The latest proposals have been put forward in the form of an ultimatum by the county highway officers to do what they want, or nothing.

Their proposal is a very expensive programme of expansion of the lighting system which will involve a complete renewal of the cabling, and an extension of humps and bumps. The cost of this will exceed £250,000. Everyone must concede that this would cure the speed problem but surely a few loads of tarmac under the existing lights would be as effective and a lot cheaper.

The excessive traffic problem has been ignored, and it is this which chiefly concerns us and, we believe, the Rectory Lane residents. Our observations are that the rat run traffic derives from the construction of the Parson's Green industrial estate and the Great Ashby housing estate, both of which were meant by the planners to be served by Martins Way as the way to the north.

The flood really started when the barrier between St Albans Drive and the old Weston Road was taken away. Restoration of that barrier in a more substantial way than was attempted outside St Nicholas Church would seem to be a cheap solution to Rectory Lane's complaint and offer more peace to the inhabitants on both sides of the Weston Road and all for less than the bureaucratic proposal!

LSJ and ER SHIPP, Woodfield Road, Stevenage

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