Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) has provided an update on the Lytton Way road layout, following recent changes.

The new layout has seen cones removed from one of the two main lanes, which previously acted as a filter lane.

Instead, cones have been placed in the left-hand lane on the approach to Tesco, meaning cars must slow down to enter Swingate and the supermarket.

Herts County Council (HCC) is responsible for the road, and previously told the Comet that the revised layout had been introduced "in cooperation with Stevenage Borough Council".

But Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, portfolio holder for economy and transport at SBC, suggested that the change had been made before HCC told the borough council about it.

Cllr Briscoe was responding to a written question from Cllr Graham Snell, who had asked whether SBC had consulted with the Highways Authority on the latest changes, and whether they were working together on a permanent solution.

Cllr Briscoe provided his response ahead of a full council meeting on Wednesday, October 18.

It read: "Over recent weeks, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) have been working on a design solution that was expected to be implemented in October, based on a suggestion from a local resident with significant transport planning experience.

"HCC officers had discussed the proposal with Tesco’s transport consultants and SBC officers and secured support from both.

"The new layout reduces the length of the slip road into the car park.

"The shorter slip road should lead to gaps in traffic which will help provide greater opportunity for traffic to join Lytton Way, whilst not disadvantaging traffic joining Lytton Way from the Fairlands Way roundabout.

"If successful, this design could be implemented permanently, but it is important that the layout is tested on a temporary basis first, particularly with the busy Christmas period approaching.

"Officers are assured that if the layout does not operate well during busy periods, the design could quickly revert to the previous scheme that prevented the build-up of traffic on Swingate.

"It was unfortunate that the county council's contractors implemented the changes before HCC was able to communicate the adjustment to the local community and to SBC.

"I would though like to thank HCC officers who then provided me with a briefing on the scheme and issued public communications.


"We will continue to monitor the success of the temporary solution and provide feed back to HCC."

At the council meeting, Cllr Snell said: "A phrase that comes to mind is 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', or in this case, 'if it is broke, don't break it again'."

He asked if Cllr Briscoe could provide any guidance on when decisions would be made on a more permanent change to the road layout and on the proposed closure of Lytton Way to through traffic.

Cllr Briscoe said: "In the answer I gave you [above], it was behoven on a local resident who has expertise in the subject matter to be advising HCC on the current arrangement we have on the roadworks leading into Swingate.

"And that's very disappointing, because I've been told in the past that we would get a response from HCC about this scenario but it was held back because of the elections last time, and now I'm being told that we're not going to hear this side of Christmas what's occurring in that context."

He assured Cllr Snell that he will be "pressing" SBC council officers on the ongoing situation.

Cllr Briscoe also confirmed that the council "will be able to inform all members at some stage in the near future" about the long-term plans for Lytton Way.

After a consultation earlier this year, another is set to be held as part of the 2024 Local Plan Review.

Under plans supported by SBC's cabinet, Lytton Way would be closed to through traffic between the police station and Tesco, with only buses and taxis allowed to use that stretch of the road.