Cyclist slams danger crossing
CYCLISTS complaining about the siting of a cycleway have slammed feedback from Herts Highways. Regular users of the route linking Baldock, Stevenage and Letchworth GC said they were dicing with death on a daily basis but council officials claim there is n
CYCLISTS complaining about the siting of a cycleway have slammed feedback from Herts Highways.
Regular users of the route linking Baldock, Stevenage and Letchworth GC said they were dicing with death on a daily basis but council officials claim there is no other option.
A spokesman for Herts Highways said: "With the construction of the dedicated slip lanes to the south side of junction 9 of the A1(M) it was considered safer to route pedestrians and cyclists to the north side of this junction.
"A joint footway/cycleway joining the pegasus crossing in Letchworth Gate across the north side of junction 9 to the footway along the west side of London Road was proposed and accepted at the public inquiry.
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"A crossing of the A505 at the B197 was necessary for movements from Graveley to both Letchworth and Baldock.
"The footway along the B197 is on the west side of the road and with a crossing to the east both pedestrians and some cyclists would have to cross both the B197 and A505.
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"The crossing from the north side of the B197 to the south has poor visibility and traffic turning left from the A505 into the B197 can do so without stopping at speed, a dangerous situation. The crossing of the A505 was therefore located to the west (Letchworth) side of the junction.
Cyclist Mark Shoobert, 43, from Rivett Close, Stevenage, said in The Comet recently that the route was dangerous.
In reply to Herts Highways' explanation he said: "I cannot understand the judgment of placing the crossing in its current location reading the above information because the cyclists and pedestrians are at far greater risk with the crossing in its current situation due to the traffic coming from the Graveley junction.
"Normally the cars have to accelerate hard from the junction to prevent hitting the oncoming traffic. The people crossing have to contend with the normal traffic from the bypass with natural gaps in flow being filled in with accelerating cars from the Graveley junction."
In defence of the design Herts Highways stated: "A crossing to the east of the junction would have also resulted in a longer distance for those travelling between Letchworth Gate and the B197 and combined with a difficult crossing at the B197 could tempt people to cross at the gyratory of junction 9.
"It is considered that the facility constructed is the most appropriate in the circumstances."
Mr Shoobert said: "I do believe the crossing is there to allow access to Letchworth and Baldock so the above statement cannot count as an issue due to the fact that it should make no difference whether it's closer to either Baldock or Letchworth.