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LONG JOURNEY: Hertfordshire County Council criticised for planned road closures in Hemel Hempstead 

 Published on: 26th January 2021   |   By: Amneet Kaur   |   Category: Uncategorized

Hemel Hempstead residents have expressed their anger and frustration over planned road closures which will cause them an 11-mile diversion.

They are calling Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to reconsider the closures which started on January 17 and will continue for 19 weeks.

The works taking place along Box Lane, Bovingdon and the A4251 London Road, Hemel Hempstead are essential gas replacement and maintenance by Cadent Gas.

Works will take place between the junctions of Box Lane and Fishery Road and HCC has confirmed the Box Lane road closure will be 24/7 and for five weeks. 

HemelNews spoke to residents to understand how these closures are affecting them.

Bryony said: “Oh it’s a nightmare and a pain, takes double the time to get to work, double the miles. So double the fuel too I guess that I have to pay for. So sick of them constantly working on Box Lane, it’s been roadworks on and off there for ages now.”

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous mentioned: “My parents live on Box Lane and there are works constantly being done on that road, it is a nightmare, to the point my mum and dad are considering moving as it is always an issue. 

“My parents are in my childcare bubble as I have a five week old baby and it makes my journey to them now from Northridge Way so much longer because the shortcut lanes like Flaunden Lane are not fit for purpose at all.”

Ruth instead said: “Box Lane is the main route for Bovingdon residents, if it snows there will be no safe route out of the village.  You can’t use the Ashley Green road because of the dip that you can’t get out of, the same applies to the route to Kings Langley with the big dip at Langley Road/Chipperfield Road.

“We know it’s because of gas works but they have put in a diversion to get in and out of Bovingdon with virtually no signage out through Ashley Green. Lorries are using the lanes and it’s impossible to get out of the village.”

Maria added: “I’m a self employed community carer and have a client in Beechwood Park. I spoke to the council and the gas company and they insisted I had to do a 13-mile round trip to care for an 80-year-old vulnerable lady which I think is disgusting.”

A spokesperson from HCC said that Cadent Gas have confirmed  during out of hours access they will make the site safe for emergency services with the use of road plates over the excavation.

Addressing residents’ concerns, they continued: “A member of our NRSWA Team went out yesterday (January 20) and confirmed that signage meets the standards. Our team spoke with Cadent Gas on Tuesday and advised for additional signage to be put in place stating that Bulstrode Lane and Flaunden Lane etc.. are not suitable diversion routes. 

This has been confirmed by Cadent Gas and our NRSWA Inspector as being delivered and out on site.

“The road closure is necessary on Box Lane for five weeks as Cadent Gas’ Mains is in the carriageway and minimum widths cannot be safely maintained. The road closure is therefore needed 24/7 during this period in the works programme. 

 “We appreciate the inconvenience and delays in the local area these works are causing however should we not undertake these works there will be a continued increase in emergency works which will have a wider spread impact on the Bovingdon and Hemel Hempstead area.”

HCC confirmed the diversion route suggested is: Box Lane; Chesham Road; B4505 Chesham Road; Lye Green Road; B4505 Eskdale Avenue; A416 Broad Street; A416 Ashley Green Road; A416 Chesham Road; A416 Chesham Road; A41 and A4251 London Road. 

Picture credit Andrew Barratt 

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