Police label A1(M) Letchworth Gate junction turn-off as ‘flawed’

POLICE have branded the main route into a town as “flawed” in a report which assesses transport issues.

The Letchworth and Baldock Urban Transport Plan, compiled by Hertfordshire Highways, contains the comment from Hertfordshire Constabulary regarding the left turning into Letchworth GC after exiting the A1(M) junction 9 going northbound, as well as stating that “damage only road traffic collisions are a frequent occurrence” although many are “not reported to police”.

The document, which is under consultation until October 28, was compiled with the help of local interest groups to help identify transport-related issues in both towns, with criticism of the Letchworth Gate junction also surrounding the traffic flow in peak periods.

The plan suggests introducing and re-phasing existing signals to increase red light time, introducing electric charging points and promoting car sharing clubs in a bid to tackle the issues.

Another problem highlighted was the “complicated traffic routing” surrounding Leys Avenue in Letchworth GC due to the one-way system, with instances of vehicles making illegal manoeuvres or driving on the wrong side of the road as a result.

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Police commented in the report that the “non compliance” in Leys Avenue was a “key issue”.

The plan has earmarked making Gernon Road two-way, as well as reviewing traffic movement through the town and the Leys Avenue right turn ban.

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Other issues recorded include the limited parking spaces available in both Letchworth and Baldock railway stations, and the lack of direct bus services from west and south-west to Letchworth GC and Lister Hospital, and no services between Lister Hospital and Baldock after mid-afternoon.

Residents and businesses in Comet country will have a chance to have their say on the plan this Saturday when public events are held at the Goldsmith Centre in Letchworth GC and at Baldock Community Centre from 10am to 1pm.

Regarding the plan, a police spokesman said: “As part of the consultation process we have provided Hertfordshire Highways with information in relation to a variety of issues in the Letchworth area and will continue to work with them to improve road safety.”

Letchworth town centre manager Lee Boswell said: “I welcome the plan and I hope as many people as possible will find the time to visit the event on Saturday and make their comments known.”

Cllr Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “In the spring we carried out a consultation to local interest groups to help identify the transport related issues in Letchworth and Baldock. Since then we have been assessing the concerns raised and developing possible schemes and measures to address a number of the issues that were raised.

“Whether you are a local resident, work in the town, run a local business or use the local shops and services, we would like your views on the proposals that are being put forward in the draft version of the Letchworth and Baldock Urban Transport Plan.”

Hard copies of the plan are available to view at Letchworth GC and Baldock libraries and at the North Herts District Council offices in Letchworth GC.

*To look at an online version of the draft plan and questionnaire click on the link at the top right of the page.

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