£25,000 to investigate Hitchin roundabout congestion
- Credit: Archant
A government grant of £25,000 will be used to look at measures to reduce congestion and pollution levels on a busy roundabout.
The money, awarded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to North Herts District Council (NHDC), will fund a survey assessing how heavy good vehicles (HGVs) use the roundabout at the Three Moorhens pub on Stevenage Road, Hitchin.
Some of the work will be to conduct surveys on HGV movements, and look at improving the road capacity at the Three Moorhens Roundabout so that Hertfordshire County Council – which is working with NHDC on the project – can determine whether the amount of queuing traffic can be reduced.
Cllr Bernard Lovewell, NHDC’s portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, said: “We are really pleased to have been successful in obtaining a grant from the Government’s Air Quality Grant Programme. This will go towards funding a feasibility study to look at various options for improving air quality along a small area of Stevenage Road. The project will help us gain an understanding of freight traffic routes and help us look at ways to reduce congestion and improve local air quality.”
Mike Clarke, chairman of Hitchin Forum, said: “Hitchin Forum’s concern is that any rerouting of HGVs bound for the industrial estate, without modifications to the current road system, might shift the problem to another major junction in the town.
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“We understand that what may be possible is dependent on the level of funding available, so the methodology will be a matter of professional choice.
“However, we hope the study would be designed to provide robust evidence which could be used in modelling to test whether a road, either for all traffic or solely for HGV use, could link the Stotfold Road to the northern boundary of the Hitchin industrial area.
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“It must assess whether this is a feasible solution to a number of problems, not just that of air quality on Stevenage Road.”