Concerns over Walsworth crossroads traffic lights

CONCERNS over a new set of traffic lights in Hitchin have been raised, regarding issues including congestion and road safety.

The Walsworth crossroads were installed with a set of new traffic lights in September, a measure which was introduced by the council to reduce traffic collisions and improve crossing for pedestrians.

But some locals were sceptical of the plans, and since the lights have been put in, there has been some criticism of traffic queues along the A505 from the crossroads to the railway bridge as well as along Grove Road.

There have also been concerns raised over the fact that some of the lights from Woolgrove Road are still covered, cited by some as “dangerous”.

“The lights have not alleviated problems of traffic along the A505, it streams back from the traffic lights right through towards Letchworth,” said Chris Parker of Keep Hitchin Special.

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“The lights are on a timed basis, but maybe what they need is a sensor.

“They are still covered on Woolgrove Road going on to Cambridge Road, so it’s quite dangerous. I use these crossroads daily, so know that this is an issue.”

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Hertfordshire County Council said that it was aware that traffic was a problem, and had received a complaint about it.

“Unfortunately significant reductions in traffic queues cannot be achieved without limiting access to and from the side roads,” said a spokesman from the council.

“However when traffic plans have returned to normal on completion of this work, Hertfordshire Highways will monitor the traffic signal control to identify any improvements to traffic flow that may be possible.

“Traffic emerging from Woolgrove Road and turning left will still be required to give way at the approach junction. This was the case originally and the give way signs have been retained to confirm this message to drivers.”

The lights are covered on the Woolgrove Road are due to a fault on the crossing at the junction. Works are ongoing to fix this, and are expected to be completed this month.

There has been some praise for the new lights, with the council’s objective to improve road safety recognised.

“I think it’s a vast improvement of the original system,” said Cllr Alan Millard.

“There have been one or two teething problems, but overall I think it’s excellent. There have been some queues at times, but no more than usual and it clears very quickly.”

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