Woman warns of A1(M) Letchworth Gate danger


A1(M) - Credit: Archant

A WOMAN has said that using the road approaching a major motorway junction which has been closed for more than a month is a like “taking your life in your hands”.

Motorists have faced major delays during rush hour traffic while the southbound entry slip road to the A1(M) from the Junction 9 roundabout at Letchworth GC was closed on December 20.

The road was closed by the Highways Agency for three weeks for safety reasons after the barrier had been hit and damaged by cars on a number of occasions. There are no definite plans for when it will reopen.

Kath Pope who lives in Stevenage Old Town and uses the road on a regular basis said: “When heading towards Letchworth GC there are long queues from the Graveley Road to get on to the A505 dual carriageway. Depending on the time of day, often queuing back to Jacks Hill.’’

Mrs Pope said since the closure she has seen several near misses where vehicles have pulled out because they have had to wait so long.

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She said her journey via bicycle or on foot when it comes to crossing the dual carriageway was like “taking your life in your hands”.

“It is very dangerous. The crossing is after the Graveley junction, so not only do we have to negotiate the very fast traffic already on the dual carriageway but also any small gap there may have been is instantly filled with very fast exiting traffic from this junction.

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“I dread to think what would happen if a partially sighted person tried to cross this road, but at the moment the traffic is so dense and fast it is even more dangerous,” she added.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “We carried out a thorough on-site assessment to ascertain whether there was a temporary solution that would avoid the closure of the slip road.

“It was determined that there was not enough room to safely install a temporary barrier and, to ensure the ongoing safety for drivers, a decision was taken to close lane one of the slip road.”

The spokesman confirmed the safety barrier will be replaced by late spring or early summer and the slip road will reopen once Hertfordshire County Council and the Highways Agency have agreed a solution.

North Herts district councillor Gary Grindal said: “The sense of frustration when trying to get on the A1 is felt by everyone.

“I have been kept in the dark about any update in relation to the solution or opening of the road from Herts County Council but I hope that a solution is found and that the road is re-opened soon.”

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