For many years parents and students of Norton St Nicholas Primary and Nursery School have needed to cross Norton Road in order to attend their school.

"Several near misses" have taken place at the Letchworth location, with residents and local councillors campaigning for a crossing to be put in place.

The Comet: A protest was organised at the time.A protest was organised at the time. (Image: Chloe James / Norton Action Group)

Plans for a crossing had been moving forward in 2019, only for "financial pressures" to delay installation.


Anthony Boucher, assistant director for HCC Highways Operations, said at the time: “The Norton Road pedestrian crossing scheme was well received at consultation and our engineers have designed a scheme.

The Comet: The crossing had been delayed due to financial pressures.The crossing had been delayed due to financial pressures. (Image: Chloe James / Norton Action Group)

"We recognise that this scheme will provide a huge benefit to the local community.

"However, due to limited budgets available we are unable to deliver this project in 2022/23 but we are continuing with finalising the detailed design and the required legal notices so that the scheme can begin construction in early 2023/24.

The Comet: The new puffin crossing features sensors to detect pedestrians.The new puffin crossing features sensors to detect pedestrians. (Image: Chloe James / Norton Action Group)

"We apologise for any disappointment this has caused.”

Earlier this month, a puffin crossing was installed at the site, and is now fully operational.

A puffin crossing is a pedestrian crossing with sensors, meaning that the lights only change when no more pedestrians are detected on the road.

Work began on the site on Monday, April 3, leading to the road being fully closed until April 14.

The Comet: The new crossing at Norton Road.The new crossing at Norton Road. (Image: Chloe James / Norton Action Group)

Further daytime and nighttime closures followed this date.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said previously: "Following calls from residents for a safer walking route to and from Norton St Nicholas Primary School, Hertfordshire County Council will soon install a new signal-controlled puffin crossing on Norton Road, by the junction of Croft Lane."

Cllr Daniel Allen, who campaigned for the road crossing, told the Comet: "After years of campaigning from local people and Norton Action Group, this crossing is finally coming to fruition.

"Making Norton safer, not just for children, but for everyone looking to enjoy the village and access the greenway.

"I want to thank County Cllr Tina Bhartwas for her work and dedication to making this happen."