Traffic restrictions on the High Street in Rickmansworth will be relaxed in the new year as part of a hybrid solution to the debate around pedestrianisation.
Restrictions on motor vehicles on the High Street were implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous trial saw vehicles banned between 10am and 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am on Saturdays until 6am on Mondays.
Following a consultation with residents, representatives from Hertfordshire County Council and Three Rivers District Council agreed to revise traffic regulation orders to better suit the community.
In 2024, a hybrid arrangement will come into force. Vehicles will be able to use the High Street during the week, but the road will still be closed to vehicles from 10am on Saturdays to 6am on Mondays.
District councillor Paula Hiscocks, who represents Rickmansworth West, said: “A hybrid solution is the only way to appease everyone.
“Closing the road wasn’t a democratic decision. It was closed during COVID-19. Forty-nine per cent of residents supported reopening the High Street after 10am on weekdays, so keeping it fully closed would be wrong.”
Though some argued that nearby car parks could be utilised by visitors to the High Street, cllr Hiscocks said: “The car parks look nearby but they’re not close enough if you can’t walk. It wasn’t working for disabled people.”
Meanwhile, chair of Batchworth Community Council councillor Andrea Fraser said: “Retailers are delighted that the road will open again. However, by keeping the road closed at weekends, the Ricky market can continue – it’s the best of both worlds.”
Cllr Fraser raised the issue of increasing disabled parking options, but conceded that allowing vehicles to access the High Street once again is a step in the right direction.
For further details, please visit HCC’s webpage.