Safety fears over Hitchin roundabout plans

PLANS to build on a small roundabout have prompted residents to take action, over fears that safety and visibility will be compromised.

A planning application has been submitted to the responsible authority North Herts District Council (NHDC) from the county council, to put up four signs on the roundabout at Fishponds Road and Ickleford Road in Hitchin.

But town centre groups claim that it will block visibility, and could subsequently cause accidents.

Keith Montague, vice chairman of Hitchin Society, said: “We have written to the council and Hitchin and county councillors saying we are very concerned about safety aspects.

“We think the signs would obstruct people’s vision and we also think they would do nothing for the appearance to the entrance of the town.”

He added: “At the moment, it is nice to look at with its flowers, and the signs would ruin that. It’s been misjudged.”

Another group, Keep Hitchin Special, has also written an objection to the proposals.

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Chris Parker said: “Keep Hitchin Special have put in an objection to it on the grounds it’s a distraction to motorists and it’s not in proportion for a roundabout that size.

“You have heavy metal lorries going to the scrapyard and they find it difficult to navigate that roundabout as it is. It’s just a little bit OTT, a really silly application.”

The signs that the county council wants to build will feature its logos and strapline, as well as a logo and contact number of a sponsor.

As it stands, a decision will be made by North Herts District Council (NHDC) officers, unless a councillor calls it in.

If it is not called in, a decision will be made towards the end of next month.

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