Stevenage county councillor ‘hesitant’ to support one-way system petition for fear of increased speeding

PUBLISHED: 07:01 21 February 2020

Stevenage Old Town county councillor Joshua Bennett Lovell has said he supports some aspects of a petition set up to make the road outside of Fairlands Way safer, however is hesitant regarding the idea of a one-way system. Picture: Herts County Council/Supplied

Stevenage Old Town county councillor Joshua Bennett Lovell has said he supports some aspects of a petition set up to make the road outside of Fairlands Way safer, however is hesitant regarding the idea of a one-way system. Picture: Herts County Council/Supplied

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A county councillor for Stevenage, Joshua Bennett Lovell, has said he is “hesitant” to support a petition to make the road outside Fairlands Primary School into a one-way system, due to concerns that it would lead to more speeding.

The petition was started by Coleen Houlihan - who has children at the school - after she had witnessed and experienced a number of near misses, where cars had mounted the pavement and almost hit pedestrians.

Coleen addressed the petition to Mr Bennett Lovell, who reviewed the school's pick up and drop off safety last summer - alongside that of The Thomas Alleyne Academy and Letchmore Infants' and Nursery - following conversations with residents.

He said: "I tasked the relevant Highways Officer at Hertfordshire County Council to propose design solutions for new and improved safety features in these three locations.

"While along Pound Avenue we did discuss the possible impact of one-way traffic schemes, I was assured that such re-designs can lead to unintended consequences such as faster traffic given the lack of oncoming vehicles causing cars to speed up.

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"If a one-way system led to its own new safety issues, it is my view that we should avoid possibly introducing new safety problems.

"For this reason, I am hesitant at this stage about supporting the specific one-way system Highways re-design that you are suggesting, however I fully support your calls for new 20mph signage and safety railings, which I certainly view as a priority need for this area.

"I have used this opportunity to prompt Hertfordshire County Council that the improvement of safety features near to Fairlands School remains one of my highest priorities and that I expect to see their detailed design suggestions very soon.

"I hope that pressure can continue to build via the petition for improved road safety around Fairlands Primary.

"If action isn't taken in the near future, I am very keen to work with you all in lobbying Hertfordshire County Council further to see safety improvements implemented."

Coleen's petition - which now has 179 signatures - also calls for metal railings installed along the corner at the exit of the public byway next to the school, and the installation of new 20mph road signs at the entrance to the one-way system.

To support the petition, go to change.org/p/joshua-bennett-lovell-changing-the-road-outside-fairlands-primary-to-a-one-way-system.

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