Blackspot audit results kept under wraps

RESULTS from a safety audit carried out almost a month ago at a junction deemed by many drivers to be an accident blackspot are yet to be publicly disclosed. The newly created filter lane, connecting junction 9 of the A1(M) with Letchworth Gate, is part o

RESULTS from a safety audit carried out almost a month ago at a junction deemed by many drivers to be an accident blackspot are yet to be publicly disclosed.

The newly created filter lane, connecting junction 9 of the A1(M) with Letchworth Gate, is part of a roadworks scheme that cost an estimated £1m.

But it has been engineered in such a way that drivers have to swivel considerably in their seats at the lane's junction, in order to see oncoming traffic from the busy Letchworth Gate roundabout.

A safety audit was completed almost four weeks ago and Hertfordshire Highways told The Comet then that should any improvements be deemed necessary, work would start at the end of January.


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But the results of the safety audit have still not been made publicly available and The Comet has now been told any remedial work will not be made until April.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Highways said: "We understand people's concerns about this junction but our aim was to reduce the number of accidents in which people are injured and early reports show that we have achieved this.

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"However, we may be able to improve the junction further and we now have an opportunity to properly review the layout and operation while the Highways Agency work is carried out on the A1(M).

"We are not able to make any physical changes to the junction until April when the Highways Agency work is complete.

"During this time we will be using CCTV cameras to analyse traffic behaviour in more detail and introduce temporary measures to make the junction most effective while maintaining the highest safety standards.

"We will closely monitor any temporary measures and will have an opportunity to amend them until we strike the best balance between providing capacity, reducing the number and severity of accidents and making the junction useable for drivers.

"Once we have found the best solution we would aim to make the temporary measures permanent."

Richard Bowran, the clerk for Letchworth Garden City Town Council, said: "Vehicles exiting the slip road are taking risks because of the difficulty in seeing traffic already on the roundabout.

"Although we have been advised that a review of the safety aspect is going on, we are disappointed it's taking so long.

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