New plans for 'death trap'

PLANS to double the width of the main road into the world s first garden city are being considered in a bid to correct a roadworks scheme which has caused hundreds of drivers to complain. The filter lane connecting junction 9 of the A1(M) with Letchworth

PLANS to double the width of the main road into the world's first garden city are being considered in a bid to correct a roadworks scheme which has caused hundreds of drivers to complain.

The filter lane connecting junction 9 of the A1(M) with Letchworth Gate is part of a 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.

In a bid to tackle the issue, Herts Highways made corrective adjustments to the layout by applying red anti-skid material to direct people to a more acute angle at the 'give way' sign.

But at a meeting last week, district and county councillors said there is still a problem. The junction was called "a death trap", "a nightmare" and "a complete disappointment". One councillor said "the slight changes which have been made have made only a marginal difference" and another said "the accidents there are on an almost daily occurrence".

The group gave support for investigations into creating a dual carriageway between junction 9 and the longabout and have asked for a traffic survey into queuing to be carried out during peak times.

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A spokesman for Herts Highways said: "It's not a perfect design. It was the only scheme analysed that would get rid of queues. I regret that some people find it difficult to get out of that junction and I think we need to look further at the problem."

She added that it was too early to say how much the dualling of Letchworth Gate would cost.

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