Residents who live near a busy junction in Chorleywood say that “action is needed” from local authorities to prevent the risk of injury and death the road poses.
The Heronsgate Road junction that meets Stag Lane and M25 exit Long Lane is a heavily congested area with a lot of motorists and pedestrians trying to get about their day. Those who live on the road say cars are sometimes driven recklessly on the 20mph lane.
In a letter sent to CHORLEYWOODnews, residents Joy Turner and Jeremy Fern have described the situation, stating that Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) and the police have been made aware of issues previously.
They said: “Two petitions were submitted by Cllr Phil Williams in October 2020, signed by the majority of local residents.
“Councillors have recognised the need for an official crossing. Safety must be the focus, rather than cost and planning issues.
“The necessary steps are not being taken. Local government expenditure is under tight constraints. But the danger to life is real. Evidence – verbal and visual –shows the potential risks.”
The area is often frequented by pedestrians going to the nearby pub, primary school, day nursery and recreation ground, meaning children are some of those most vulnerable to the traffic on the road.
A parent at Chorleywood Primary School said: “We encourage our children to be active by walking to school. We teach them the benefits of health and well-being and protecting our environment.
“If we want to encourage them then we need to provide safe routes, controlled crossings and be more mindful of how we drive.”
Over twelve years ago Cllr Martin Trevett supported villagers’ successful campaign to introduce the 20mph limit on Heronsgate Road.
Now, they’re campaigning for enforcement of the 20mph limit and for a proper crossing to be introduced on Heronsgate Road, which currently only has an informal one in front of The Stag pub.
One idea suggested has been solar powered signs that display to motorists the speed they’ve been travelling at, a speed camera and the refurbishment of the informal crossing into an official one.
Residents Margo and Andy said: “Pedestrians attempting to cross Heronsgate Road constantly encounter speeding vehicles, even when pedestrians are halfway across vehicles rarely slow down, forcing people to pull back.
“We have been asking the Council to provide a safe crossing point for a number of years. The Police themselves admitted there was no safe place to conduct a speed check with a hand-held radar gun!”
Lisa, a mobility scooter user, said: “Without a signed crossing point, and with a line of sight lower than a person walking upright, I often don’t have a complete view of the traffic coming from either direction.
“Sometimes I cannot see traffic coming from the right and I have to edge out in order to get a proper view.
“By which time, a car can be almost on top of me with apparently no intention of slowing down. This frightens me, but it affects everyone on foot, or using mobility aids.”
The campaigners say there is a “dangerous disconnect” between the community’s needs and the willingness of the authorities to implement them.
They also estimate that the financial cost of each road fatality are around the £2m mark.
As a response to our request for a comment, HCC sent us this response to a letter from a concerned resident that stated:
“The footway and grass area on the south side (outside The Stag PH) has very limited Highway available where we cannot extend the footway width to comply with the current acceptable standards.
“There is no footway network to link with the new crossing point especially in Long Lane where pedestrians are forced to use the carriageway due to lack of footways.”
They added: “I trust you will understand that we need to concentrate our efforts and funding on sites where accidents are already taking place, as opposed to those where it perceived that accidents may take place in the future.”
Joy and Jeremy have replied to this, saying:
“We want the residents who signed these petitions to know that they have not been appropriately responded to, as we are not being given what we asked for in order to live here safely.
“Statistics do not account for vehicles being damaged and children being pulled back from the path of careless traffic on a crossing which is not fit for purpose. Where there is a will there is a way!
“We therefore ask the two Councils and Hertfordshire Police to re-engage with us and to take the appropriate action.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary and TDRC have also been contacted for comment.