Hitchin roadworks cause ‘major congestion’

Congestion has been caused on Charlton Road in Hitchin by roadworks

Congestion has been caused on Charlton Road in Hitchin by roadworks - Credit: Archant

Motorists have been venting their anger at “major congestion” in a town caused by roadworks.

Maintenance contractor Ringway is carrying out roadworks in Hitchin on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council to stop people turning right into Charlton Road from the A602 after eight people were injured in crashes at the junction over a three-year period up to December 2012.

The roadworks have already been criticised by residents living in Charlton village for not being well thought out, but motorists using the road have also now hit out over the congestion the project has caused and the perceived lack of work going on.

The work, scheduled to take four weeks, began on Monday, March 17, when a silver Hyundai i20 was left on its roof by the junction after a crash that night. No one was seriously injured.

Hitchin resident Justin Richards said: “Unfortunately Hertfordshire County Council do not understand or acknowledge the massive major congestion the works have caused despite previous examples.

“They don’t think about the damage this is causing to businesses in Hitchin through loss of trade or the inconvenience that it causes to people trying to pick their kids up from school.

“I have a friend who said that a normal 10 minute journey between the A1(M) and Hitchin last Friday took 40 minutes because of the roadworks and yet they couldn’t see a workman in sight.”

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Another motorist, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The first day of the roadworks the road was blocked to start the construction work. People were diverted down tiny lanes to get round the road block. There was also a near-miss in the housing estate north of Charlton Road/Willow Lane as people began using that as a cut through to avoid the traffic.”

Matthew Kelley, Divisional Manager for Ringway said: “We apologise for any frustration caused by the road works on Hitchin Way and appreciate everyones patience and understanding. These works are necessary to improve safety on this road. The traffic management options to moderate the disruption were considered heavily throughout the design phase and this option was selected as the least disruptive.

“We will review the current arrangement to identify any opportunity to alleviate some of the queues being experienced.”