Four-way junction gets 14 traffic lights

A four-way junction is being installed with more than a dozen traffic lights at a time when the Government is asking councils to cut back on “street furniture”.

Work on the crossroads at the junction of Cambridge Road and Woolgrove Road/Willian Road in Hitchin is expected to be completed in around two week’s time when 14 traffic lights come into operation.

But the sprouting light columns on the road have left a Hitchin driving instructor worried about their impact.

Stuart Warren said: “I am very concerned as to how Walsworth crossroads is going to work. Today I counted 21 new posts - half appear to be for traffic lights. This is only a four-way junction. It was not broken. Why fix it? And the cost? We need to know in advance how it is supposed to work.”

A spokesman for Herts Highways, the Herts County Council agency responsible for urban roads in the county, said the work was necessary to cut accidents at the junction.

She said: “The primary aim of the scheme is to reduce road casualties at the junction and nearby. In order to do this we need to upgrade the traffic lights, which will improve the flow of right turning traffic, and also provide controlled crossing facilities so that pedestrians can safely cross the junction.

“Ten of these new columns are replacing existing lights, with additional lights going in for the pedestrian crossings.”

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But this comes at a time when the Government is urging councils to cut back on street clutter such as traffic lights and signs, which ministers say has contributed to confusion, ugliness and accidents.

Asked how this fits in with the Government position, the Tory-run County Council said: “There is a balance that we aim to strike between having sufficient signs and street furniture to keep residents safe and comply with regulations while not overwhelming our roads. Although requests to remove signs and street furniture are not particularly common, we look forward to receiving the new guidance from the Government on this matter once they have reviewed the existing policy.”

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